Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rivertown Rapture

By Joseph Hesch

With January's ice-scrim mist,
this riverside neighborhood
turns back to photo proof
black, white and gauzy gray.
Holiday colors have faded
like mid-September memories.
Tinder-dry evergreens,
erstwhile harlequin-lit window beacons
for passing ice-breakers,
now lay prostrate on streetside,
snow-dusted Christmas gravestones,
waiting for the herald crash
of the trash collecting Rapture.
And the perennial trees
standing sentinel nearby
at snow-footed attention,
look like lean black guardsmen,
their uniforms on backorder
until a too faraway Spring.

This week I wrote a poem that came from my walks and runs along the Hudson shore over the past 20 years. During the holidays, you could see the gumdrop-lit Christmas trees in windows over in Rensselaer. By early January, they were gone, the snow had come and the ice had choked the river. "Rivertown Rapture" is what I recall and imagine of those days. I've linked it up to dVerse Poets Pub's Open Link Night, where you'll find scores of other such imaginings and remembrances.

32 comments:

  1. come on spring...life is a black and white pic this time of year man...and love the image of the guardsmen...great capture joe...

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  2. Love the way you captured this, can picture it so vividly. Like Brian, I too like the image of sentinel guardsmen, uniforms on backorder until too faraway Spring. It certainly feels that way in the throes of icy January! Enjoyed this a lot, reminds me of my area of New England.

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  3. "waiting for the herald crash
    of the trash collecting Rapture"

    Love it!

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  4. Beautiful images, Joe... I, too, long for spring.

    http://lkkolp.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/the-thief/

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  5. this is filled with beautiful imagery, it made me feel the chill of winter. lovely.

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  6. very nice sir... It is a bit dull without the xmax-y lights and such.. just plain ole freezing sights

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  7. Too much good in this to highlight, but special kudos to the trees.

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  8. wow. tis bleak indeed.
    an ironic peace, tongue & cheek, and imagistic piece gainsay on 'rapture'…cause it's end-of-life stuff.
    funny how quick the turn….holiday spirit to grim.
    then hope of spring. hope the black guardsmen get their uniforms…they have a chance…they passed Xmas safely.

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  9. Wonderful images...they really capture the feel of this time of year in a cold land. I remember it well.

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  10. wonderful imagery in this seasonal piece. some really dazzling word choices throughout. love these lines--

    With January's ice-scrim mist,
    this riverside neighborhood
    turns back to photo proof
    black, white and gauzy gray.

    nicely penned Joseph -- C.

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  11. Lovely sentiment in this one Joe, I want to salute those grey stone. Hope all is well in cold NY

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  12. if we only had some snow...but it's just grey and wet over here..and yes..i yearn for spring...sigh..

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  13. Love the trees standing to attention with their feet encased in snow Joe - standing sentinel waiting for spring to blast colour into their being :)

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  14. Nice write, Joe. Love these lines...this riverside neighborhood
    turns back to photo proof
    black, white and gauzy gray.
    Holiday colors have faded
    like mid-September memories.
    Great capture!

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  15. Maybe I'll run / walk your route with you one day, Joe. Would love to see the images in person!

    A wonderful poem -- swept away on your words.

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  16. The holidays have gone and now winter has settled in - you paint a beautiful and poignant picture with strong images - like Jannie I was completely swept away by this poem

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  17. I love the line photo proof:) great poem!!!
    ~L

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  18. Oh, roll on Spring..warm to warm....love the images in this though...the trees standing to snow-footed attention...wonderful imagery & you capture the post Christmas mood so well...hugs to you, dear friend xo

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  19. I take drives along the river and out to the lake to gather inspiration. So many wonderful things come to mind when in nature, doesn't it. I love your use of imagery, as always. Beautiful!

    http://magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/look-me-in-the-eye-when-you-say-goodbye/

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  20. Love love love ice-scrim mist. What a way to start! And then you followed with imagery that took me deeper into rivertown, tinder-dry, harlequin-lit, sentinal. Gorgeous work. My favorite word... erstwhile. Love the sound of erstwhile. Fabulous, Joe.

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  21. I was trying to think of a word that fully expressed how much I loved this poem; I think the word is perfection, because you've created a perfect literary snapshot of exactly what a town is like just after Christmas. The trees 'uniforms on back-order' is superb!

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  22. Loved the imagery and colours in this. It reminded me of scenes from BIG - seeing the trees across the Hudson. Must be very very FINE to spend the seasons there! Lovely.

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  23. fab write I am almost there walking beside you ...thank you for sharing and may 2012 be filled with Colour x x x

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  24. standing sentinel nearby
    at snow-footed attention,

    and the Rapture the trash collector brings! Really enjoyed this poem of a town that needs to sigh and rest after all the festivities. I feel kind of like that. :)

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  25. Densely packed with images and associations..the dulled tones of early January. Somehow these lines make a strong impression:

    waiting for the herald crash
    of the trash collecting Rapture.


    Juxtapositions jingling emotively in my head. Very much like the whole thing Joe... and must say I am enjoying the Dubai sun (Ok hit me..)

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  26. ah, such bleak & vivid imagery... the work of a master wordsmith, as ever.

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  27. Wonderful, Joe: ) You capture the comfort of living in one place for many years. It's expected habits and regularities, such as my favourite line:
    'waiting for the herald crash of the trash collecting Rapture'...I just love that!

    Thank you for taking me on the river journey...
    -Eva

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  28. Man spring is definitely too far away! I love the way you captured the "after Christmas" feeling...my favorite line : "snow-dusted Christmas gravestones"

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  29. there is almost a visual hangover after the holidays, you capture that so well in this. lovely write ~ Rose

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