FPL's Off the Page Poetry Series presents a poetry reading with award-winning poets Terry Jude Miller, Vanessa Zimmer-Powell, and UHCL professor Dr. John Gorman.
Wednesday, November 6th at 7pm
The poem below, An Abundance of Pumpkins, comes from John Gorman's book, Red Pontiac Convertible.
At the heart of the basket of snares lie a few hidden joys. And that is what John Gorman describes in this enthralling book: the joys that come from finding the answers to very human questions. Why do we believe it all over again, he asks? We believe because he tells us we can, because there is such delight to be found in experience. What an enriching read! ~ Alan Birkelbach, 2005 Texas State Poet Laureate
An Abundance of Pumpkins
All of them orange, webbed with white,
here and there touches of green.
Sprung from nature, yet too wonderful
not to be miracles—like elephants, first love, giraffes,
sheet lightening, friendship, the Grand Canyon
when, say, you’re an Indian or a Spaniard
out for a walk and – suddenly—
There’s The Grand Canyon!
so big, so many of them
heaps and heapsand somewhere the perfect one
hollow, yet soon hollower still,
transformed—and what’s left
you can eat two ways.
Riches, ridiculous riches—
Aladdin, God, Uncle Scrooge!
And when you’re out after one
with your father, there’s also
cider, Indian corn, warty
inedible squashes. The whole set-up
brilliant as grace
right as the year’s ending.
How boring to think it’s all from Satan.
How perfect to dress up and move
among a thousand lighted pumpkins
getting handfuls of candy for free.
How unaccountably wonderful
everything suddenly is. And sometimes
a truck pulls up right while you’re there
at the roadside stand or in the garden center
and dumps a whole load of them.
Hollow bongo thunder, the thuddish
plunk of Somebody Else’s music—
somebody closer than you thought people got
to the way everything felt
when it tumbled out of nothingness.
This has been a good night.
You’ve been able to compare it
to things you haven’t seen yet,
things you haven’t felt. You might
risk a smile in public.
If your father has a free hand,
on the way to the car with your pumpkin,
you might take your father’s hand.