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Locket

By Robert Cording Poetry

You carry our son in a locket
you hang around your neck

each morning, a way, I guess,
of carrying what isn’t and what is

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Cloud Shapes and Oak Trees

By Robert Cording Essay

What…had been plain, dense cloud cover now took on landscapelike formations, a chasm with long flat stretches, steep walls, and sudden pinnacles, in some places white and substantial like snow, in others gray and hard as rock…. They hung over the town, muted red, dark-pink, surrounded by every conceivable nuance of gray. The setting was…

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Graveyard Prayer

By Robert Cording Poetry

Lord, here I am again at the graveyard where I’ll be buried, but for now where I rest before walking back home. I like to lie with my back on the grass and study the clouds, a Constable imposter, or sit on my gravesite and look at this little village— the cemetery, seven old houses…

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Morning Prayer with Hopkins’ Kestrel

By Robert Cording Poetry

It is required you do awake your faith, Paulina says to Leontes, and these crows, spurting from the night’s silence into the gray before dawn’s rose, yell it in through my open window. I am slow to cooperate. O Lord, I owe you at least the modest diligence of looking carefully each day; so let…

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Spring Begetting

By Robert Cording Poetry

My one-year-old grandson John has climbed up on the couch where I have been reading Updike, and, standing, looks out the window to the lilacs where a catbird spills itself in long bursts of toowees, cluks, whooits and meows and now he, too, finds his way to runs of throaty vowels and a comedic tumble…

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Again to Port Soderick

By Robert Cording Poetry

(from Hopkins’s journal of a vacation on the Isle of Man, August 1872) So much need in that “Again.” To see it in good weather. To look down again from the cliffs at the high water of a full tide. To hold the kaleidoscope of the waves to his eye and watch them churn and…

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Backyard Apotheosis

By Robert Cording Poetry

All the way to heaven is heaven, Saint Catherine of Sienna supposedly said, and on most days, replete with the stabbed, shot, run-over or into, the stroked, heart-seized, and cancer-stricken, I’d say bullshit and be done with it. But today, at the tail-end of April, the sun warming things up, I’m in shorts and a…

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The Revolt Against Narcissus

By Robert Cording Essay

IN A SCENE from book 4 of Milton’s Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve talk one evening of the glories of Eden and their unmerited free creation by God, unaware that they are being watched by Satan. This little scene takes place shortly after Satan’s shape-shifting arrival in Eden and serves as a kind of foreshadowing…

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