Green Midnight by Stuart Bartow



Heard an old poet claim that poets hear
voices, which is just another way to say
we’re all mad as the mist and rain.

What I catch is unclear chatter,
whispers, mutterings, echoes,
unlike Plath who heard shouts,
or Rilke, the violent words of angels.
Whether I’m alone or in a crowd
the voices are always there
in the background. For Prufrock,
the mermaids wouldn’t sing.
I’ll take my music disembodied,
my love’s voice, or the wind.

The waves say always the same thing—
Come drown in me.
That’s why I live in the mountains
where the songs of birds and trees
whelm the sea
of static crackling everywhere.




Wherever you are in the universe
you’re at its center, cosmologists say.
My little mutt and I have made
a miraculous journey. Seeking
to chase a hare, flush a woodcock, to hear
a black and white warbler, hiding thrush,
exhaust all worry hiking hard,
we’ve stirred a flurry of daysleep moths.
We’ve found ourselves at an angle
where the summer moon is white and blue,
visible well into morning.
We’ve discovered ourselves at the center
of a universe that happens to be bordered
by cattails and highly annoyed blackbirds.


Stuart Bartow teaches writing and literature at SUNY Adirondack, and also chairs the Battenkill Conservancy, an environmental non-profit.

His Teaching Trout to Talk: the Zen of Small Stream Fly Fishing, received the non-fiction award from the Adirondack Center for Writing, and a previous collection of poems, Einstein’s Lawn, is also published by Dos Madres.

Additional information

Weight 7 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in