Daniel Carrington will be one of our featured poets on Thursday, May 14 at 7pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Daniel Carrington is a Houston-based architect and poet. He is a lifetime member of the Gulf Coast Poets and has been a three-time Spotlight Poet at their annual Poetry Out of Bounds event. In addition, he was featured in Public Poetry’s 2013 Summer/Winter Reading Series and has been selected as a Juried Poet for Houston Poetry Fest in 2010, ‘12, ‘13, and ’14, and his work has appeared in each year’s anthology. He is currently working his first poetry collection entitled Mosaics of the Night.
PENS FOR PLOWSHARES
– for the poet Juan Manuel Perez
I reckon it must have felt like
living half a spade from hell,
but hotter still for all
the honest labor you devoted
to working in the fields...
before you left for other fields.
but then again, I guess
a pen is a plowshare, too –
no stretch for a poet,
less so, at least, than that
callused earth bringing forth
a hard-earned crop... and you.
you sprang from that hardpan
with a flourish of words
as if, unwatered, somehow
a garden grew on those parched
southern plains unaided;
as if, seeing no earthly source,
your hands dug down
further than most
and found a river below the land –
your soul its own deep well.
(Originally published in the 2012 Houston Poetry Fest Anthology)
THE MINNOWS’ STARE
in the earthly city, we waited, my grandmother and I,
for any ripple in the stillness, for a raindrop perhaps
out at the vast hardscapes of Parkdale Mall.
and the storm drain she neighbored was mainly dry
but ready to funnel the occasional downpour
in torrents passed her speck of ground
headed for the lost narrative of the Neches River.
and while she waited, she would sometimes dangle,
like time itself seemed to dangle, from a porch swing,
her face a stoic emblem overseeing that ditch.
on weekends when I’d visit, I’d climb down
the flared concrete sides by the little bridge.
beneath its cathedral ceiling, I found a tribe
of minnows clinging in extremis to the one puddle
the sunlight couldn’t touch. I often came there
to ask them about the weather and the why.
bending low, I thought I saw an oracle in their stare,
though they just swam in shy, tight-lipped circles,
fearfully dodging Greek shadows overhead.
now, looking back, those eyes seem less imbued
with wisdom than my grandmother’s. the rains came,
and she moved on; the minnows, too. all that is left
is their ever-present gaze across the intervening years,
not a weighty gaze full of unshared secrets,
only a telling emptiness that I envy in their stare.
how they swam with buoyant purpose in their puddle
slowly evaporating, like moments, under an overpass
so close to that big river, never knowing.
(Originally published in the 2013 Houston Poetry Fest Anthology)