Poems by Marge Piercy

“It stills me”
             By Marge Piercy

Why does the occasional
sighting of a hawk run
through my body in a wave
of awed pleasure?

I like to watch birds taking
seeds from the feeders,
but that’s daily, peaceful.
Occasionally a new species.

But the sight of a pair of
red tailed hawk wheeling
overhead, mates calling
I must pause and watch.

When one lights nearby
I stop all activity, silent
and captured. Its gaze
has the power of a bolt

of lightning, pure strength
and grace. Beauty
so fierce can scare
and light up my day.

“Tiny but terrible”
             By Marge Piercy

Fleas are invisible until
sudden itches attack
and then you notice your
cat or dog scratching.

Maybe a new kitten came
home from a shelter.
Maybe your pet went out
and fleas jumped on board.

Now the little devils
bite you awake. You
begin to see pepper-

like turds on furniture.

Powders, pills, baths--
your pet hates you.
You stink with them.
Fleas have a home

with you. You’ll be
watching them jump
admire their high leaps
if you can stop cursing.

Fleas have colonized.
No use dreaming escape
If you move now, they
will join your party.

You and your pet
are just supper to them.

“I reflect on this night”
             By Marge Piercy

The moon crawls out of the pines
solemn and almost round, just
a thin slice off one side
as if someone had used a knife.

Below we lament our world
dying of profits and greed,
the smoke of the dead rising
to join the bone white moon.

What we seem to do best
is to kill. But wolves, lions, bears
kill to eat. We slaughter
for sport, because they’re

in the way, for trophies,
for the joy of it, the power.
The money. The Peaceable
Kingdom will never come

while we infest the earth
we are strip mining, fracking,
peeling off forests, poisoning
land, water and air for more

profits for those who already
have way too much money.
The animal that replaces us
should be an improvement.

Marge Piercy has published 20 poetry collections, most recently On The Way Out, Turn Off the Light (Knopf, September 30, 2020); 17 novels including Sex Wars. PM Press reissued, Vida, Dance the Eagle to Sleep; they brought out short stories The Cost of Lunch, Etc. and My Body, My Life [essays, poems]. She has read at over 500 venues here and abroad. 

Copyright©2024 by Marge Piercy. All Rights Reserved.