Cricket Songs by Eric Folsom

Poet name: Eric Folsom Poem title: Cricket Songs Poem: (for Steven Heighton) It’s enough to make you wonder What good writing will ever do The unveiled urge to encourage The wide-open will to record Offbeat perceptions of the flesh Or the heart’s soft revolutions. You reminded us how it comes Down to little more than our breath Exhaled lightly against paper. The ink we’ve pushed in odd patterns Which our eyes may perceive as words Could lift off the page on a breeze. I’ve got nothing to claim about The way loss loses its purpose How final beds in final rooms Gradually absorb the heat The soundless abyss peels away From our weary, tame pretensions. You turned your finest face forward Careful to take friends and lovers Seriously, though never quite As seriously as your art. You among the few who listened To poetry’s pitiless call. The antique dignity of lines Forming unobtrusive stanzas Clearing houses for broken things For marginal worlds where the world Seems fully present to its own Annihilating aliveness. A time-based thing if you ask me Those transitory evenings of Poems, books, and too many drinks Writer’s work as technology The most social of media Always was and always will be. Poetry, small consolation When done right, does almost nothing Since it survives without trying Crickets after bullets firing. Steven, you showed us how to sing As if we still had faith in love. End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Eric Folsom Originally from New England, Eric Folsom has lived in the Kingston area for 48 years. The author of four books and three chapbooks, most recently Lift Bridge (catkin press 2020), he/they/she was the inaugural Poet Laureate of Kingston in 2011.