voices out of the West, mostly poetry, personal to planetary...

Frank Coons



Frank is a poet and veterinarian splitting his time between Denver and the western slope of Colorado. His work has appeared in the Santa Fe Literary Review, Eleventh Muse, El Malpais, Pinyon Review, Fruita Pulp, Imprints, and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the Mark Fisher poetry prize in 2011 and 2013. His first chapbook, Finding Casseiopeia, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in 2013. His second collection of poems, Counting in Dog Years, has recently been released. Both books been published by Lithic Press.

two poems by Frank Coons



Out my window,

a thousand windows look back,

everywhere mirrors mirroring

mirrors in a mockery of eternity.

Yes, there is grass delineated

by planners whose concepts

are concrete, whose hearts

are dynamos, whose blood

is storm water flowing through

culverts, whose ten-year plans

are proverbs.


A crabapple tree unfolds, reaching

the second story and believes

it is god or at least an angel.

It defies right angles and blooms

a thousand pink stars to shower

the workers walking their geometries.


But I have known the glorious

anarchy of the wild

and smelled its adrenaline,

felt the five-hundred-year-old bark

of the Krummholz pine, heard

the persistent wants of life,

where night, if lit at all, was by a moon

yellowing full.  It cleanses

and envelopes me.


Yet, I will not discredit community,

where ideation sprouts like

milkweed in the fields of opportunity,

nor deny that it is the wellspring

of our heritage. We are social animals.

So, I admit to torn gratitudes,

and this poor eclogue, forever split

between the here and the there of it.

Commanding the Craft


I will not seek to out-oblique

old T.S. Elliot

or speak too long of Ostriker’s

dogs and tulips.

Equally lost on me are the end

rhymes of Frost or X.J. Kennedy.

Even if I knew what Rae Armantrout

was talking about,

I could not duplicate it.

Nor am I schooled enough in vulgarity

to compete with Dr. Ginsberg

and, though I once did, Ms. Millay,

(may I call you Saint?), I’m too old

now to feel what you did then.

I would gladly sail to Byzantium

with W.B., but could not command

his craft, which leaves me

all alone with my notebook,

a pen, my empty raft. is a non-commercial project, an online anthology, to share a poetic vision of the land we love.

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