4.18.19 6.40 a.m. 41 degrees Pulse of this early morning is slow and calm; yesterday’s occupation of polliwogs has dwindled to none as they navigate the deeper water after this morning’s rain, dwelling deep ‘til sunshine warms the shallows and beckons them back. * * * 4.17.19 11.33 a.m. 55 degrees Prior to today I had seen one polliwog – one. Not to overdramatize, but today was magical. A snapping turtle nestles in the bottom, more mud than turtle, and from seeing one polliwog I saw dozens and dozens, like sperm racing for the fertile egg that is the pond. * * * 4.16.19 12.12 p.m. 50 degrees Patrons of the pond, the early green frogs, are absent from the shore today, overwrought by the high wind perhaps. They have taken refuge in the numbing water. Gusts up to 35 mph are so persistent today they even distress the frogs who have spent months under water and once again seek its shelter. * * * 4.15.19 11.01 a.m. 59 degrees Pretending they are raindrops, groups of skippers scatter, overarching concentric circles, ripples like rain on water, naval orbits widening to nothing in the pond that is full, I’d dare say, as Frost said, above the brim, after torrential rain.
A few words about my submission. They are from a project called POND. These short poems are acrostics. This is a one-year-long project. Everyday, at different times during the day, I visit our pond with notebook and camera in hand. I jot down some notes, and take a picture or two, if a good photo op. presents itself. Then I head home and write a four line acrostic using the letters P, O, N, and D. The other caveat, which makes the project so interesting to me, is that I cannot use any of my first words more than once. I need a different P, O, N, and D word every day for a year; I began the book on November 9, 2018 and will complete it on November 9, 2019.
John L. Stanizzi is author of Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Chants. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Blue Mountain Review, Paterson Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, and many others. Stanizzi has been translated into Italian and his work has appeared in many journals in Italy. He has read at venues all over New England, and his newest collection, Sundowning, will be out later this year with Main Street Mag. Stanizzi teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.
© 2019, John L. Stanizzi