Archive for May, 2011

On the Way to the Cemetery in New Auburn, Wisconsin, I Stop to Watch a Pair of Ducks

Posted in My Poems on May 14, 2011 by paulscotaugust

On the Way to the Cemetery in New Auburn, Wisconsin, I Stop to Watch a Pair of Ducks

Three miles south of town, I walk along the shoulder
of County Highway SS, pausing at a culvert
where acres of wetland flow beneath the roadway.

It’s been five years since you and I last walked
this way, our weekly hike paralleling the railroad tracks
taking us away from our home.

The blackdamp smell of creosoted crossties
baking in the midday sun has stopped me here.
Four miles left to go.

I sit on the guardrail to rest. No cars pass by.
A pair of mallards skates below me in the current,
feasting on minnows.

They speak to each other in hushed tones,
while cattails dance along the water’s edge.

Well-fed, they slide away below a trestle bridge
and move from my sight. I rise and move on,
trudging into the silence.

I have forgotten the sound of your voice.

Paul Scot August

Published in Sugar House Review – Volume 3: Spring / Summer 2011


His Wife Called Him Moose

Posted in My Poems on May 5, 2011 by paulscotaugust

His Wife Called Him Moose

—- For Lawrence Topp

The Clam River slides through a wide valley, rubs
against low sandy banks on one side, great expanses
of cattails on the other. A hill rises up from the river,
trees cleared away, a trail moving past geriatric oaks
and burnt tree stumps where there were once bonfires.
The house sits on the hill, u-shaped and pointing away
from the river toward sixty acres of slow-dying wheat.
The old man sits at a desk in his office, stares as the sun
makes its final drop between twin radio towers, coaxial
cable running back to the house and a stack of ham radios.
He flips a switch, amplifiers hum and vacuum tubes glow,
constellations of connection. He grips a chrome microphone
while clearing his throat, announces his presence, waits
on replies from men named Scotty, Hobo and The Dane.
As he exhales back into his chair, static washes over him,
the wheat field turns to gray, the house settles in on its stones,
the hill slides back into the valley and the river washes itself
through cattails, the sound like the final sigh of a dying wife.

Paul Scot August

Originally published in Midwestern Gothic – A Literary Journal – Issue #1 – Spring 2011

Audio of me reading 4 poems for Bending Light into Verse II

Posted in My Poems, Poetry Readings on May 5, 2011 by paulscotaugust

Here’s a video with the audio of me reading 4 poems from Bending Light into Verse II with images of the photographs from the book by Jennifer Tomaloff. This took place on April 15th 2011 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside campus. This was the Bending Light into Verse II book release and celebration event, sponsored by Straylight Literary Magazine. I end with a brand new 5th poem I wrote the day before the reading…