Four poems by Stan Sanvel Rubin

Stan Sanvel Rubin

Stan Sanvel Rubin lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. He has published five collections, including Hidden Sequel (2006), a Barrow Street Book Prize winner. His work has appeared in such magazines as The Georgia Review, The Laurel Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Willow Springs and others, and in Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets (Oregon State University Press) and The Poet's Guide to the Birds (Anhinga). His poems are forthcoming in Cider Press Review, Poetry Northwest and Agni Online. He writes essay reviews for Water~Stone Review at Hamline University and directs the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA at Pacific Lutheran U.

Radishes in War Time

Bright little bombs, hard
as knuckles of the dead
under a collapsing sky
of loam and shrapnel,
taproot whose fruit
wears a skin
shining with the color
hidden under our skin.
Taste it.
Raw, it burns
the throat, the eyes
sting and tear
as at mustard gas,
horseradish, wasabi.

 

 

 

Apple in War Time

Bruised a little
so that the orb is dented
where it fell, maybe
on a stone, or a deer
probed it and went on
to better feeding
which is plentiful, now,
in the orchard,
fruit like this
a reminder
of past lives.

 

 

 

Meteor in War Time

We lie on the moonlit deck
long after midnight to watch
the streaking Aurigids
display their dazzle,
rare fireworks seen
just three times
dating from the comet
that broke past the sun
when Julius Caesar
was in charge
of the wars that mattered.
I see nothing, you say,
but a few weak stars.
From an air mattress
we scan the sky
with the intense peripheral wariness
of those whose mission
is to spot bombers
before they reach the city,
and I see one falling
in a swift arc
over our heads.

 

 

 

Eclipse in War Time

The sky is dangerous
as history, the moon
is being eaten
by the great cat
darkness.
The moon is becoming
invisible, something
not-there, a squib
of yellow, vanishing
thumbnail.
The moon lingers
through its invisibility
the way a beaten pup
howls from a basement.
Here Here Here.
The moon returns
like a corpse
arranged for viewing
behind a red silk shadow
which is the earth, our earth.