Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Before the Coming of Winter

I counted the shapes

of my face on the dying


& was never cheated

choose my body too

empty the trees

onto their shadows

I want to be lean & tough

as a fir

& float across the snow

in green

like an enormous flame

The Fishing

the leaves were knee-


around the elms &

inside the stream

the fish

flashed like spears

at the feathers

of the hook

dreaming of birds.

on the bank in the solid


the rod looked

like a spear in the sun

overhead a hawk

lay on top the air

like a leaf

lifted up by the stream

There Is No Sound

there is no sound in the halls

of a flower

the slow pollen snowing

even a bee will not whisper

when he enters

the sacred pollen

under his wings

blows to the walls

The Wounded Doe

steps out of the green

& yellow handsful

of leaves still on the trees

her soft ears

tremble like butterflies

berries are crushed

against her coat


her wet breath crumbles


on her muzzle

all the bones of her body

are braced

against her teeth

& I am so close

I can hear the slow


I have ancestors of Dresden

the wet

bricks of Amsterdam

my head is round & the hair

polished black

I squint

& will not look into your face

the eye of a man

is round & the center opens

into his head


We Weep for Our Strangeness (Big Table, 1969)

Dennis Schmitz lives in Sacramento and has been a teacher in colleges and universities most of his life. One of his students was Raymond Carver. Born and raised in Iowa in the month of the lion 1937. You'd be hard pressed to find a contemporary American poet so well respected by other poets and his books so little known.

    Books of Poems ~

    Animism (Oberlin College Press, 2014)
    The Truth Squad
(Copper Canyon Press, 2002)
    About Night: Selected and New Poems
(Oberlin College Press, 1993)
(University of Illinois Press, 1989)
(Ecco Press, 1985)
(Ecco Press, 1980)
    Goodwill, Inc
    Double Exposures
    We Weep for Our Strangeness