Street Idyll

Calm is she who sits in white
Because the source of her delight,
Wherein the street relucts to sound
Its violence, is so profound.

Her subtle philosophic sense
Of something new and near and tense
Inspires, in her concentration,
Promises of stimulation.

But cavalcades across the street
Of children urgent in retreat
From trenchant villains who profane
The mind, provoke in her a strain.

The sound of innocence her realm
Of innocence may overwhelm
Unless the cause of ill, in black,
Accomplish his enraged attack.

Or: if metaphysical debates,
Which she calmly contemplates,
Are woven well into the braid
Of arts whose arguments persuade.

But she, who by the children stands
And subtly interlocks the strands
Of laws which beauty radiates,
In crisis, seems to hesitate.

Courage, wisdom, cunning, or will
Are useless as a daffodil
Against a blackening sky of storm,
Unless the golden sun grows warm.

Indeed! A light, a change of gears
On a mechanical face, appears,
Repeats her smile, albeit strange,
Which reciprocates his change.

His raging at the children tells
Of stifled reach, which, as her swells
Into a terror just as great,
Their persons interpenetrate.

His scorn for the spontaneous,
If moderate, maliciousness
Of children trembles, frets and dies
In her rage consuming eyes.

Then the juvenescent motion
Of ascensional devotion
Spreads throughout the neighborhood
The triumph of the heart of good.

When the children pass, she raises
Up her eyes to thank their praises,
Who never seeks to live above
The street, but in it, with her love.


Second Street

Once when Spring just freshly arrived
With her minstrel band of precursors
That beckon a drowsy April alive
To approaching loves and ancient lores

One manchild enlightened his pace
That blindly held his steps before
When he heard of the song of his childhood place
Whose distance rubbed his ankles sore

Where he found an avenue of trees
In blossom where he’d lost his home
Whose memories sang in minstrel leaves
Where April danced whence he had come



Splendid is a splendid word
Sang the speckled mockingbird.
Sang he once, green, gold and blue:
Splendid hint and subtle hue.

Sang he then a silver mist:
Stream of daylight, light and list.
Sang of silk upon a flower,
Splendid footfalls on the hour.

Sang he, a timid sighing voice
Springs from silk to song to choice.
Splendid silence sunlight stirred,
Sang the speckled mockingbird.


Robert Covelli is a poet living in Santa Fe, New Mexico

These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments.


One Response

  1. neal Whitman

    Confession: Am jealous of Robert — highly skilled in prose and poetry. This set of poems and his novels prove him so. Can he sing too? Would not be surprised because his poem, “Song,” is truly lyrical. I will whistle his tune as I skip (well drive over the hill) to Robinson Jeffers Tor House in Carmel this morning to give tours.

    Amicus poeticae,
    Neal Whitman


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.