Two Poems by Allen West

Wine can’t resist affording Cross
pencils, the Times puzzles. Mind frays
like work shirts’ abraded collars,
scatters like roses on slubbed wall
hangings, like crabs from under stones.
Banish things tied in plastic, slid
black down the chute into dark.
determines everything.
Schooners are stacked
and undecked
where the rough reach
pounds the cloisters
to flotsam: halyards,
kelp-shrouds, oilskins,
oars. Fence strakes
guard the cemetery’s
headstone names —
the faraway boys —
Here lieth the body
of John Baily, faraway
boy beyond the pale,
white linen awaiting
his unmaking.
About the Poet
Allen C. West is a poet and retired professor of Chemistry at Lawrence University and Williams College. His first full-length book of poetry, Beirut Again was published in 2010 by Off The Grid Press. His chapbook, “The Time of Ripe Figs,” was the winner of the White Eagle Coffee Store Press’s 2000 chapbook competition. His poems have most recently appeared in Ibbetson, Passager, The Comstock Review, Concrete Wolf, Rhino and Salamander. He graduated from Princeton, and received his PhD in Chemistry from Cornell University. He currently resides in Lexington, MA.