FPL Poetry Series presents a reading with featured poets Richard Peake and John Gorman on Wednesday, January 30 at 7pm. A native Virginian, Richard Peake became a Texas resident after retiring from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He published early poems in Impetus alongside John Ciardi and in The Georgia Review. Collections of his poetry include Wings Across… and Poems for Terence published by Vision Press, which also included poems of his in A Gathering at the Forks. He published Birds and Other Beasts in 2007. A member of The Poetry Society of Texas he is published in numerous books and journals including the Pushcart Prize nominated Shine Journal. A life-long naturalist, a father and grandfather, he teaches birds, Shakespeare, and writing in OLLi.
Finding Hidden Beauty
Shangri-La Shack, May 2012
Like a shadow moving through brush
a small creature eludes scrutiny
of a boy using old binoculars.
Following growth on the ditch bank
this chase continues for what seems hours
until the skulker lights on a branch
revealing a pastel sparrow
crest raised, an inquiring gazer
who can’t resist a closer look
at the binocular bug eyes
of the creature chasing it.
The boy eyes the buffy breast band
on the delicately lined breast,
its stickpin, the soft grayish face.Knowing this creature new to him
causes trembling excitement
as he thumbs pages of his guide
for the picture he remembers.
Finally, there it is, the bird
flies from the page—Lincoln’s sparrow,
not thought to be here, the book says,
not wintering in Virginia,
but there it is, still sitting where
light reveals its muted colors,
a quiet charm always thrilling him
whenever Guy meets it again
to imbibe its pale soft beauty
as he shares with others the knowledge
this secretive, furtive sparrow
spends its winters in concealment
where they have never thought to look.
Enigmatist, Vol. 7, July, 2012
Looking into myself
I try to identify the layers
accumulated under the skin,
deposits from my late Cretaceous
or my Cenozoic. I chip at the rock
although my personal geology
is told in disconnected stories
seemingly lost in a murky void—
not eons, but years seem ages
I seek to remember
to draw bones of being
from the rock face of dead times
encased in old strata
many radiant with happy moments
others dark and heavy with guilt—
herbivore and carnivore fossils.
Through these layers of life
run crevices through which flow
the river of the past, its streams
carrying their load of sediment
into the light of the present
where I sift among sand and stone
to find remnants of earlier life—
a paleontologist of ego bones.
They Couldn’t Wait
HCC-NW College Review, Apr., 2012
The Dodo bird hadn’t heard
men thought it
but not to eat.
The Dodo lacked prescience
he didn’t know
how many hungry jowls
liked chicken dinners
for Col. Sanders.