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Two poems by Cora McCann Liderbach

The Time Seemed Green for Going

[A cento]

Footsteps hurry toward beginning.

The hidden dove’s troubled voice –

beggar, thief, boatman, mist. The tide

rising early, moon taken hostage. I sit

on the rough stoop by the sea grass,

wind in the trees, mother crying

on the stairs. A last look over

the shoulder before leaving. Father

tramples the dew, rows toward what

he can’t see. Night is a river,

the missing pages of the sea, a country

lost. How slow morning comes.

Each of us joins its ongoing story,

falling toward our beginningless past –

stars we haven’t heard from yet.

A lasting echo of heart calling home.

Source: Li-Young Lee, Book of My Nights, “Hurry Toward Beginning”, “From Another Room”, “My Father’s House”, “Degrees of Blue”, “The Moon from Any Window”, “Little Round”, “Pillow”, “Black Petal”, “The Sleepless”, “Our River Now”, “The Hammock”, “Echo and Shadow”, “The Well”

Pilgrim Soul

[A cento]

Ravens of unresting thought –

flying, crying, cruel – trouble

your peace.

Time’s waters lap the shore

in days, years – numberless

islands. Memory of wings,

sweet laughing eagle thoughts,

wizard song – murmuring

dreams in the deep heart’s

core. Blackened leaves, broken

boughs, the deep wood’s woven

shade. The twilight

of wayward companies. I stand

on the roadway, moon climbing,

haunted by the sorrows

of your changing face. Linger,

pilgrim soul, wandering star,

blue on the rim of the sky.

Source: William Butler Yeats. "The Two Trees", "The Lover Asks Forgiveness Because of His Many Moods", "Adam’s Curse", "The Lake Isle of Innisfree", "The White Birds", "Upon a House Shaken by the Land Agitation", "A Poet to His Beloved", "Who Goes With Fergus?", "To Some I Have Talked With by the Fire", "The Sorrow of Love", "When You Are Old".

Cora McCann Liderbach is from Russell Township, Ohio. Her work has appeared in District Lit journal and Sad Girls Club literary blog, in a staged reading for the 2020 Cleveland Humanities Festival, on Literary Cleveland’s blog, and in the 2020 Dancing Poetry Festival.

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