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Maurya Simon

Born in New York in 1950, Maurya Simon is the author of The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016 (Red Hen Pres, 2018), Ghost Orchid (Red Hen Press, 2004), Weavers (2000), The Golden Labyrinth (1995), Speaking in Tongues (1991), Days of Awe (1990), and The Enchanted Room (1986). She is the recipient of a 1999 NEA fellowship in poetry, and she has been awarded a University Award from The Academy of American Poets, the Celia B. Wagner and Lucille Medwick Memorial Awards from the Poetry Society of America, and a Fulbright/Indo-American Fellowship. Simon has been a Fellow at Hawthornden Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as a Fellow at the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators in Visby, Sweden. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Kenyon Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Georgia Review, Grand Street, Agni, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Calyx, New England Review, and in more than fifty additional literary magazines and journals. Her poetry has also been collected in more than a dozen anthologies. She is a professor in the Creative Writing Department at the University of California, Riverside and lives in Mt. Baldy, in the Angeles National Forest of the San Gabriel Mountains, in southern California.

Maurya Simon

By This Poet

2

N

Noon. I can connect nothing with nothing. 
Perhaps even chaos is cause for celebration.

And perhaps the astrologers are right when they chart 
one disaster, one propitious night, one happenstance

of glory to the next so they accrue like an alphabet 
in the primer of each person's life. I read my horoscope

each day, searching for the solitary clue, the sign 
signalling my journey's halt, when I might look up

at last into the stars, connect-the-dots--see, at once, 
the bright Virgin standing steadfastly like a silver ship

docked among the midnight swarms, her left hand 
  beckoning
to me, as if nothing floats between us but the world.

The Fishermen at Guasti Park

In the first days of summer 
the three elms, those slightly 
opened fans, unfold 
their shadows across the river. 
Two dogs arrive exhausted, 
tongues dripping, and settle 
down near the frogbait jars. 
Aiming their poles 
toward the center of water, 
the Sunday fishermen watch 
the light pirouette off
the opposite shore. 
Their wives peel onions, 
open wine, do their nails. 
Most of the men think 
as little about gravity 
as they do about war and 
the weightlessness of time. 
How could they know that 
it is only the single, collective 
thought of their abandoned childhoods 
that keeps the world afloat?

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