Fogel actually lives across the line in Acworth, New Hampshire, but teaches often in Vermont. I like this opening stanza of "Disturbance" from her collection Be That Empty:
I will be the rock, igneous, fast to the place
where the river rips around it
if these blurted waves are its song
When I was young I came to a garden poolFrom the stories of his life, Mayo names some of the shadows that trouble his meditative poems. His language includes much of Zen, and of koans.
and watched a snake swallow a frog.
I have mediated long on this
not wishing to leap to the freedom
of just any conclusion as the frog
must have wanted to do,
how I saw death's
turbulence reach out touching many around me:
teachers and a woman who pretended to be
my mother, and then not long after the snake
swallowed its prey, my own mother also died.
And I groaned at the quick glimpses of loss that he allows, like the teachers' conference room suddenly shaken by a phone call conveying the death of someone's son:
Yet you should try coming up with some wordsLast but not least in this sequence of the real Vermont with its stories and mystery is the amazing presence of poetry in the JetBlue terminal at the Burlington airport. I'm borrowing a photo that was taken by Elizabeth Billings and Andrea Wasserman, to show how the words are woven into the wall. They are poetry by Cora Vail Brooks. I have a slightly battered copy of her 1979 volume A COW IS A WOMAN (Acorn Press), from which I offer now the finale of "Irreverence":
that haven't been said,
some conglomeration of syllables
perhaps with grunts and strange inflection
that haven't been uttered in shock
countless times each day across the world
the marble settled at the center of the spin,
words tumbling out in search of new order.
I want to tell youYou can tell there's more rain coming today, because none of the songbirds are letting loose outside my window. But the crickets persist in their chant, which will lead us from summer rains toward autumn torrents. Coming soon: the meteor shower of the Perseids, our August night-time guest that binds the hills, the humans, and the newly chilled night air.
while I have the choice
I would fold a length of stillness
to make these words
I would unhinge a moon
to set it loose
in the black drafty universe
a darkness that would mingle
us back to itself
I would loosen the questions themselves
from the lost throats of birds