Lines Composed in the Adirondack Mountains

THERE’S a little town nestled in the hills,
with an old house I call by that town’s name;
with husks of flies in the chipped window-sills,
a metal roof which sheds the snow and rain.
I don’t even know the address number:
Let me pretend that I am off the map.
The morning’s cold; the town is a’slumber.
There’re scales of ice out on the lake; the sap
is glommed up whitely on the fragrant pines.
I savor the air as I take a walk
around the lake, admiring the signs
brown and yellow, forgetting how to talk.
The coffee’s perked when I return; I stoke
my friend the wood-stove. Outside blooms the smoke.


Lines Composed upon the Mid-Hudson Bridge

CHANGEABLE is this river while I drive
over this bridge with pylons that denote
which lanes are eastbound, which are westbound; I’ve
looked down upon these cheeks of ice which float
upon the water’s surface like a face
that changes its expression every day.
The tug-boat ploughs a furrow black; its pace
is like that of the turtle’s, towards the bay;
Another day the river is a map
with continents, tectonic plates, that shift
in thawing warmth when trees let-down their sap,
or like the squares of fieldscape when you lift
off of the runway, in a plane. I love
the Hudson, in the winter, from above.


Reid McGrath is a poet living in the Hudson Valley in New York. He is winner of First Prize in the Society’s 2015 Competition.

Featured Image: “Paisagem de White Mountain” by William Trost Richards.

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4 Responses

  1. james sale

    Great stuff again, Reid, especially like ‘in the winter, from above’ – it creates a wonderfully mimetic effect.

  2. Alec Subre Wide

    Mid-Hudson Bridge
    by Alec Subre Wide
    “I really like the images in R. McGrath’s fine po’m,
    they’re up-to-date, quite striking, snd so aptly they strike home.”
    —Wilbur Dee Case

    Mid-Hudson Bridge, located near Poughkeepsie, New York, is
    a toll suspension span which carries US 44
    and NY 55 three-thousand feet across the flow—
    —ing water down below. Above, bard Reid McGrath composed
    some lines upon the Hudson’s winter surface recently,
    unlike those written on the Thames on London’s majesty
    by William Wordsworth once, or Joseph Bertolozzi’s vent,
    who played the bridge as if it were a music instrument.
    Below Modjeski’s Gothic steel towers rising high—
    315 feet—the bard observed the river passing by.


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