February 2010

Doug Ramspeck


Doug Ramspeck's poetry collection, Black Tupelo Country, was selected for the 2007 John Ciardi Prize for Poetry and is published by BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City). His chapbook, Where We Come From, is published by March Street Press. He was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2009.

Mother Tongue    

Such a quiet night: even the moon is mute
above the sweetgum trees.

And she is imagining a great mercy
talking to her out the earth's heavy heart, as though
the willows and tupelos are stretching out their arms.

While the moon is nestling into the shallows
of the oxbow lake, bathing itself,
cleansing itself, as though every joining
returns you to the womb.

Until she is like a child again listening
to her mother hum.  




The powdered remains
of the moon are falling
as snow beyond
the loblolly pines.

The widower is dreaming this.
The snow covering the field
like a discarded snake skin

that disintegrates in your fingers,
as though the snake
is attempting to reassemble itself
into the field.

Or he is dreaming that someone
is coming toward him—
the black hair unmoored
in the night sky—
while he is walking through
the snow blowing
as mystery beside the river.



Doug Ramspeck: Poetry
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