Two poems by MaryAnn Franta Moenck

Listening, a Guest in the Old Log House

Early Sunday. I sit with coffee.
The dog sighs, flops before the fire,
his bones knocking on the wood floor.
The chimney of fitted stones holds rock-
memory; lapping lake, glacial flow.

A fly buzzes at the window,
takes refuge from October rain.
Dark cedar logs, hand-slabbed
long ago, are recently re-chinked.
Long wood grain emanates

the echoes of a square dance;
the wail of twin fiddles, rhythmic shuffle,
and the joining of hands. Laughter
from the baby —
her Great Grandpa, too.

Above the hand-hewn beams I hear
light footsteps from the bedroom.
Around the corner in the kitchen,
bacon sizzling. Two voices,
strong as ironwood, deep as pine knot,

chant an ancient rune: The men,
old friends. Their words spoken low,
something about lumber,
and the years it takes to season
to build a proper home.

Kefalos, Caves on the Mountainside

Shadows tumble down the switchback hill
and far below to your left, a white porcelain
harmonica has been stuck squarely
into the slope above Kamari Beach: Club Med,
three long rows of blind windows
where you can sip blue from the cocktail
sea and sky, watch the colorful sails, see Turkey
make up its own silhouette at dusk,
see everything beautiful,
the mountain village at your back.

Even in the village
the rich man says it’s only herbs
in the caves beyond the tethered donkey.
His house is white-washed
mud-mortared stone and straw,
grown out of the crown of the mountain.

You can see right up her dark skirt
as she eases to the earthen floor
in the doorway of her hovel,
bowl of food on her lap.
She stares out at you, matter-of-factly

Beyond the ancient windmill
in cave-pocked sandstone of the mountainside
a few colorful doors have been flung up.
We assume drying thyme or sage, perhaps
a shed with a hoe, shade for some chickens.
But two women and a child
step out of the tiny hollow. Dust
is their sunset veranda, and they gaze
out over the languorous bay;
watch the last splashy triangle
windsurf to shore.

About the author

MaryAnn Franta Moenck has raised dust all over the American west, on the Greek Isles, and around the Great Lakes. Most recently, MaryAnn took…

Read the full bio

Issue 07 · November 2009

Table of contents