Lines of Demarcation

Surrounding us in every direction, limned
in every possible form, these boundaries
and borders, these lines of demarcation.
We can barely step away from them,
they’ve  so entrapped and squeezed our lives.
Do we draw them to keep others away
or to keep our respective enclaves
of body, mind and soul within?

Strokes of natural and man-made
geography, you mountains, oceans,
rivers, borders, colors, words on a page,
the signatures conscribing them against us,
are constructs that have lost their
constricting hold on this lacerated heart,
this freed mind, this scarred but open soul.

Each day, I look into blazing dawn’s

bright smile blurring and erasing
so many margins long marking my reserve,
my captivity. I know I can cross them now,
like they’re maps strewn across the floor,
mere cursive Ts in my notebook.
This syllogism may be false, but I’m a man
of many faults on the run to the next dawn.


By Joseph Hesch

The Nun said
I’d said none
Of what she called
Good sense.
“Good sense?” said I,
“you wish me to spout
your sense, Nun.
Nun sense!”
“Perhaps you will speak
such sense anon,”
said Nun. Said I,
“Nun sense anon, nun?

A bit of nonsense poetry, of a figurative and literal …um…sense, prompted by my friend Laurie Kolp.

Rapture in Rivertown

With January’s ice-scrim mist,
this riverside neighborhood
turns back to photo proof
black, white and gauzy gray.
Holiday colors have faded
like mid-September memories.
Tinder-dry evergreens,
erstwhile harlequin-lit window beacons
for passing ice-breakers,
now lie prostrate on streetside,
snow-dusted Christmas gravestones,
waiting for the herald crash
of the trash collecting Rapture.
And the perennial trees
standing sentinel nearby
at snow-footed attention,
look like lean black guardsmen,
their uniforms on backorder

until a too faraway Spring.

This poem came from my walks and runs along the Hudson shore over the past 20 years. During the holidays, you could see the gumdrop-lit Christmas trees in windows over in Rensselaer. By early January, they were gone, the snow had come and the ice had choked the river. “Rivertown Rapture” is what I recall and imagine of those days.