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Three Poems by Alfred Nicol

Recipient of 2004 Richard Wilbur Award for his first collection of poetry

Alfred Nicol
  • Alfred Nicol

A Bother

  • Here’s Rocco now, sprawling across the keys;
  • whatever I may try to write,
  • he’s there in black and white,
  • purring, rolling on his back to bite
  • my fingers if he disagrees,
  • minding my q’s and p’s.
  • Well, I require constant stroking too.
  • And maybe I get in the way.
  • I like for you to say
  • I’m clever, good. And feed me twice a day.
  • There’s nothing I would rather do
  • than rub up next to you
  • and feel that spark of electricity
  • leap at the touch, connecting you to me.

Ellipse

  • Restless, off center, again, so often now it seems
  • a kind of starting point, familiar in its way,
  • a place I might come back to, on my own, could be
  • I shouldn’t try to shake this, haven’t lost my focus,
  • only that another has developed and
  • there’s no one center now, I’m someone else as well,
  • this one and that one both, no need to come around

One Day

  • We walked in light and shade
  • Along the lichened wall,
  • No task at hand
  • And nothing planned.
  • The poplar branches swayed.
  • And Finlay chased his ball.
  • And something made us smile,
  • And something else, again.
  • Nothing less
  • Than happiness,
  • And good to last awhile.
  • Enough to last till when…
  • This simple summer day
  • Of not too much to do
  • May be the one
  • We look back on
  • When years have swirled away
  • And days like these are few.

Alfred Nicol’s Animal Psalms will be published by Able Muse Press in 2016. A previous collection of poetry, Elegy for Everyone, published in 2009, was chosen for the first Anita Dorn Memorial Prize. Nicol received the 2004 Richard Wilbur Award for his first collection of poetry, Winter Light. Nicol’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The New England Review, Dark Horse, First Things, Atlanta Review, Commonweal, The Formalist, The Hopkins Review, and other literary journals.

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