ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Louis Phillips


Yes, I thought.
Plentiful harvest of speech
Seizing fire
With merrymaking sheen,
Carriages of thought
Infused with feeling,
Or feeling
Steadied by thought
Urgent to the extreme,
As we turn away
From ourselves
To enter a wilder wood,
Cold clear streams
Where wonderment is all
& hanging gardens

Are commonplace,
Tho accurate observation
Is not. O
Dance with me, love,
My senses reeling,
Until the very world of spirit
Turns green.

I think: Yes.



When my sons were young,
Racing & laughing,
We were happy for a time,

But happiness
Does not stay for long.
It is a splinter in my flesh.

Every day I feel it,
I look at it closely,
Until the pain goes away.



Into an unexplored cavern:
Cold, followed by the drip of water,
Limestone coming of age,

Followed by drip of water,
Sudden blasts of wind,
An updraft

Exterminating my torch.
By touching damp walls,
Patches of blind ice,

I found my way out.
Where Reason had failed me,
Feeling brought me home.



One O'clock. The jump rope caws
Over the heads of schoolchildren,
While sirens vocalize their way
Thru spongy city streets. Cause
Ways murmuring with threat
Of accidents, & of course television
Which once claimed to be world.
Far out on a hickory branch,
A frump of a sparrow trills,
While, reading Walden for the umpteenth time,
I turn to the chapter on "Sounds":
"The whistle of the locomotive penetrates my woods".

Jump rope girls, Police  & alleys 
Fleshes out the afternoon with gab.
My record player turns (33 l/3rd)
With Benny Goodman's Carnegie Hall Concert,
Count Basie's One O'Clock Jump.
God knows the world
Was not created to be  silent.



R. Barton
Was a cartoonist. R. Burton
Was an actor married to Liz.
This verse has no meaning. It just is.


Louis Phillip's most recent collection of poems is HOW WIDE THE MEADOW (available from Amazon). He is currently working on a collection of essays on the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

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