ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by J.R. Solonche


Three days before spring,
and winter falls silent.

Morose, it packs up its frost,
and cold, and snow, and icicles,

and goes, still wearing its dirty 
overalls. I don’t blame it a bit.

What should it do, anyway,
stand around and tell the same

old stories over and over?
It doesn’t want to be here when

spring arrives, that silly crocus in its lapel,
that stupid little robin’s feather in its hat.



Late spring. A house wren has found
the birdhouse we hung in the hornbeam,
has moved in and sings for the female.

The pair of flycatchers, comfortable
under the eaves next to the front door
we seldom use, feed their offspring.

The grass grows fast. The bumble bees
work hard in the rhododendron blooms.
I sit inside, at my desk, observing silence.


J.R. Solonche has been publishing poetry in more than 300 magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He is the author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions),  Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), In Short Order (Kelsay Books), Tomorrow, Today and Yesterday (Deerbrook Editions), True Enough  (Dos Madres Press), The Jewish Dancing Master (Ravenna Press), If You Should See Me Walking on the Road (Kelsay Books), In a Public Place (Dos Madres Press), To Say the Least (Dos Madres Press), For All I Know (Kelsay Books), The Time of Your Life (Adelaide Books), The Porch Poems (Deerbrook Editions), Enjoy Yourself  (Serving House Books), Piano Music(forthcoming from Serving House Books), The Moon Is the Capital of the World  (from Word Tech Communications), and coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). He lives in the Hudson Valley.
Adelaide Books is bringing out Solonche's YEARS LATER in March 2021 and Serving House Books is bringing out SELECTED POEMS 2002 - 2021 in April 2021.

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