Nola Garrett: poet & translator
The Pastor's Wife Considers Pinball: Game 5
The Pastor's Wife Considers Pinball: Game 5
Nola Garrett: a floridian poet Dynamite Poems Sestinas Translations Bibliography Vita Contact
No Deist clock maker
                                 wound this flickering universe,
then crept                crept behind some cosmic tree to let
            it toll and tic and tune itself.
                                                    The silent serviceman
who brings along his little bland son calls
                                        evenings, Sunday afternoons--
applies the key,                                 slides out the glass
            that could have been the lid of Snow White's coffin.
He takes the ball, props up the playing field as if it were
                       a car hood, revealing all:
bundled red and yellow pin stripe wires,        a xylophone,
         copper circuit boxes,
                    a boxing bell,                                     dust, 
cogs,    A light bulb carton, the switch that sounds
    like a trap door closing,
                                        dark diagrams, plywood walls.
A litany of cause and effect that could go wrong--
1000 points when lit has failed
              among the half-stories and split elevations. Unlit
              stair wells become cul-de-sacs;
                                            some windowed rooms
                                                               have no doors.
Think walled ramparts offer shade.  Most walls loop
and twist:
          the sun never falls too long on any one wall.
                       Boulders have tumbled into the gorge,
                 in the middle of a farmer's beans.
Rain-pecked watch towers reveal circular threshing floors.
Morning comes in stages:
                                      call to prayer,
                                                                  first light
touches the valey's rim.
The silent craftsman's son sweeps the sand from the door.

POET LORE (Vol. 90, No. 4)
Special Mention
The Pushcart Prize, 1998