On November 9, 2019, poet John L. Stanizzi began an intriguing year-long poetry project. In his own words: The poems are from a one-year-long project called POND — The poems are acrostics. Everyday, at different times during the day, I would visit our pond with notebook and camera in hand. I’d jot down some notes, take a picture or two, if a good photo op. presented itself. Then I’d head home and write a four-line acrostic using the letters P, O, N, and D. The other caveat, which made the project so interesting and challenging to me, was that I did not allow myself use any of my first words more than once. I need a different P, O, N, or D word for every day. I began the book on November 9, 2018 and completed it on November 8, 2019, without ever missing a single day.
Praxis Magazine Online has already published three sets of poems from different points in this series (which you can find at the links below), and we are honoured to bring you one final set of POND poems. Congratulations on completion of this project, John L. Stanizzi!
Pacified by the easy rain that has softened the leaves on the ground,
overlander to the pond and back every day, today I see these showers as a balm –
network of tiny droplets, each one, with its little concentric splash of replenishment,
descended feeder of the depleted pond, patient voice of the rain in the trees.
Padding on the soft grass and wet leaves this windless morning,
occupier of a quiet so sweet I can hear the brook bubble, the
nodated underbrush is alive with sparrows giving me passage,
descendent pond pressed like a thumbprint into the slight, low valley.
Palatines of blazing trees – their privileges are waning, their beauty taken.
Omission of small frogs, new flowers, green expanding – even the asters are being
nullified, those last vestiges of a time not long ago when new color emerged on the landscape.
Depletion of the path, bent brown grass, leads the way, reminding us of life’s briefness with every step.
John L.Stanizzi is author of the collections: Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits, Chants, and his brand new collection, Sundowning. Besides Praxis, John’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Blue Mountain Review, Tar River, Potomac Review, Rattle, The Cortland Review and many others. His work has been translated into Italian and appeared in many journals in Italy. His translator is Angela D’Ambra. His nonfiction has been published in Stone Coast Review. John has read at venues all over New England, including the Mystic Arts Café, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, Hartford Stage, and many others. For many years, John coordinated the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition for Young Poets at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT. He is also a teaching artist for the national recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud. A former New England Poet of the Year, John teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester,CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.