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About this Poem 

“Phrases and voices surround us always, like notes of music whose sources may be just out of sight, out of reach. Pieces of a story, a relationship, a landscape—here I let them coexist without too much worry over explanations. Here too I’m interested in both form and fracture, letting the syllabic lines maintain a rift, a caesura, as part of the rhythm of it all.”
—David Baker

As a Portent

At least there was a
                                             song   timorous of

wing-beat snowdrift ash
                                             of red horizon

then somewhere calling
                                             as under one’s breath

(I did not hope you
                                            would find me wanting)

and the next extinction
                                            on every wing— 

Copyright @ 2014 by David Baker. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright @ 2014 by David Baker. Used with permission of the author.

David Baker

David Baker

David Baker was born in Bangor, Maine, on December 27, 1954. 

by this poet

The moon tonight is
the cup of a
     scar. I hate the moon.
     I hate—more—that scar. My love waited

one day, then half
the next. One 
     cyst drained of fluid that looked,
     she said, like icing for

a cake. Red-
laced, she said, gold,
      tan, thick, rich. Kind of


Dear darkness. Dear where we bow our heads in disbelief.
     Dear disbelief, hardly bow our heads and
hardly speak, so we sing, such words as darkness
     shows us how on days on end. So I sing it is
not hopeless. Hurry hurry. Nor faithless—to stand
     without faith, keeping open—. Now

Yesterday a little girl got slapped to death by her daddy,
   out of work, alcoholic, and estranged two towns down river. 
America, it's hard to get your attention politely.
   America, the beautiful night is about to blow up

and the cop who brought the man down with a shot to the chops 
   is shaking hands,