Andrew Hodgson

2 Poems

Selections from Graceful Son-“nots”

3.
Girl of long, lithe lines and golden strands of wind,
Fair, frost-bit bride of shivering, vibrant spring,
I, once a lone Woolf, savage, filled with wanderlust,
Who still struggles to stay still will not add “still”:

You are beautiful. Only that, though time weathers us.
Tears carve out canyons, whispers of East and West
Sand down mountain peaks into milder foothills like
The one we wed on, were bored to hike, and left behind.

Your hair is shorter, my teeth are longer, as are the
Silver sighs and silences across cushions when we sit
Together. Rooms stretch, spreading, carrying us both

Apart to our chosen seasons, on melting glaciers, carving
New labyrinths between, echoing bare spaces where before
We always shared sublime steps of laughing windchimes.

9.
You’ve traded the easy, lithe elegance of youth,
Your crayon-soft edges, for the bolder outlines
Of sculpture. In a setting sun, we both pose,
Stretching silhouettes of muscle and sweat.

Fingernails, painted when we met, are now stained
With soil. It is not perfume which enchants me yet,
But the pungency of sourdough and kefir.

Dreams, like eggshells, once cracked, quickly shatter,
Then find uses in compost, or protecting tomatoes
From snails. Renovations improve spaces, but the ghosts
Are crueler the quieter they become; those naïve memories

Who smiled more before so many projects and failures,
Before jumping together into the traps of homemaking,
Middle age, masters degrees, dead-end jobs and mortgage.

43.
That power of my youth is but a morning dew on this mowed
Prairie, evaporating into apathy by the end of hot afternoons.
Your cells are recharged by the very windmills I joust with,
Poking up like giant flowers in a grazing stubble of cattle herds.

I pedal into the winds, making my own, whole cold mouthfuls
To swallow, but they do not bay my madness twixt full moons.
Random weeds excite your study, you coax stray cats inside,
Whip wild mint into ice cream and scatter seed to collect birds.

We plant our beauty, your eyes years and yards beyond mine,
Mascots and magic plants for every mood, need, and season;
Willow and maple, bleeding hearts, opossums and cardinals.

I steep between hiking trips like a tea grown too strong, bitter;
For perspective, still seeking summits and chasing rainbows,
You sip yours, serenely stitching scenes from a favorite window.

49.
All my life I was defeated, alone, through thirty years
Of lofty goals and lost causes, questing. First, I am a writer,
A doomed, modest art in a world of hip hop, jingles and slogans-
More a sickness than a gift- which few appreciate anymore.

Poems crept up, tugging at my wrist, while I studied lucrative
Subjects. I adored endangered species, collected antiques,
Worked for less at non-profits, volunteered for causes. I voted
For idealists and cheered underdogs, sided with little guys,

Spoke up for silent trees, fought for clean air ineffectively.
I befriended and defended misfit toys. Love was the same
Before you. I kept in shape and sharpened my sensitive mind,

Offered shy gestures, subsisting on furtive glances. I wrote
Poems to never publish and letters to not send to a platoon
Of girls next door, a parade of old flames, saints, and muses.

We were curious about the this series and Hodgson was gracious enough to explain:
"The  "Graceful Son-nots" is a work in progress, which I started in October 2020.  My goal for the series is to finish 88 poems by the end of 2021.   I took as their model the non-rhyming 100 Love Sonnets from Pablo Neruda.  As far as sonnets go, most are fairly "scruffy", so I am playfully calling them Son-"nots".  They are love poems to my wife, who I met in Utah and moved to Kansas with.  They look back on six years, as well as thinking about growing old together.  I shared the completed poems by email with her in advent style, sending one or two each day in December through Christmas.  She always gives great personalized Christmas presents, often crafts or artwork she makes, and I wanted to do similar for her."

Temporary Things
(Pantoum Form)

I have begun to see the beauty in temporary things
One can find lots of treasures in thrift stores
A thread-bare teddy bear, tarnished promise rings
A wobbly brown goblet that spills when it pours

One can find lots of treasures in thrift stores
Bargain items that may have held deeper meaning
A wobbly brown goblet that spills when it pours
I like to thin out my closets during spring cleaning

Bargain items that may have held deeper meaning
I pretend it is the Holy Grail in disguise I’ve snatched
I like to thin out my closets during spring cleaning
Best not to hoard, fall into ruts, or get too attached

I pretend it is the Holy Grail in disguise I’ve snatched
Run hands over items, try to sense inner magic
Best not to hoard, fall into ruts, or get too attached
Invent back-stories for rejects; toys’ lives are tragic

Run hands over items, try to sense inner magic
A pilling wool sweater, with scuffed wooden shoes
Invent back-stories for rejects: toys’ lives are tragic
A mutual friend hugged me with the bad news

A pilling wool sweater, with scuffed wooden shoes
A thread-bare teddy bear, tarnished promise rings
A mutual friend hugged me with the bad news
I have begun to see the beauty in temporary things

Andrew David Hodgson has lived in Illinois, Arizona, Utah, and Wichita, KS.  He hikes and climbs mountains and canyons in the West.  He has lost trophies and plaques received for bodybuilding shows, tennis tournaments, Employee of the Year, and Student of the Month.  He is currently working on a novel, and works with a non-profit in Wichita.  He earned a B.S. in Nutrition from ASU and is now studying Business topics.  He and his wife dabble in homesteading and try to eat like it is 1899.