About the Pond Poems
The poems are from a one-year-long project called POND. The poems are acrostics. Every day, at different times during the day, I would visit our pond with notebook and camera in hand. I’d jot down some notes, take a picture or two, if a good photo op. presented itself. Then I’d head home and write a four-line acrostic using the letters P-O-N-D.
The other caveat, which made the project so interesting and challenging to me, was that I did not allow myself to use any of my first words more than once. I needed a different P, O, N, or D word for every day. I began the book on November 9, 2018 and completed it on November 8, 2019, without ever missing a single day. Well over 100 of the poems have been published in various places all over the world, including Antarctica and Kashmir.
10.3.19 / 2.17 p.m. / 53 degrees
Prosperous overcast and rain so gentle you cannot feel it.
Ostracism of the sun after yesterday’s mid-summer impersonation.
Navigable enough for the tiny creatures here, the shrinking
detriment of water has rendered the banks desert, the reed grass orphaned in the sand.
10.4.19 / 7.01 a.m. / 50 degrees
Poults – five of them and their parents perusing the gravel path for anything
offcast that might be edible, and a bunny scurries across my vision
nonplussed by my presence, the presence of the turkeys, the
despair over the lack of tomatoes in the garden. Each day this journey toughens.
10.5.198. / 11 a.m. / 35 degrees
Phrasemonger, a Canada goose honks over, pulling loneliness behind it,
objections surface in my heart – the birds no longer here, the cold’s arrival, the asters the last
naifs along the wood-line, and fall, the leaving season in full un-bloom;
desiccated pond silky this biting morning, a blue shawl to keep us from the chill.
10.6.19 / 7.45 a.m. / 40 degrees
Projecting out, and usually under water, this small
outcropping of land has become of great interest to the robins,
narrating with their whinny, the chill, the need to congregate and then to
depart or stay. Either way, a round has gathered and crowded the small promontory.
10.7.19 / 2.06 p.m. / 74 degrees
Placable and warm, the windblown, leaf-blown landscape,
omni-wind, causes the hills to resound like applause;
nervine patois of leaf against leaf, wind through every tree, and on the pond
delaine shimmers skitter across the water, small dimity islands.
10.8.19 / 6.52 a.m. / 55 degrees
Pacified by the easy rain that has softened the leaves on the ground,
overlander to the pond and back every day, today I see these showers as a balm —
network of tiny droplets, each one, with its little concentric splash of replenishment,
descendent feeder of the depleted pond, patient voice of the rain in the trees.
—About John L. Stanizzi—
John L. Stanizzi, a former Wesleyan University Etherington Scholar, is the author of many collections , including Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, and his newest collection, Sundowning. John’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, Rattle, Poetlore, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Blue Mountain Review, and many others. His creative non-fiction has been featured in Stone Coast Review, Ovunque Siamo, Adelaide, Scarlet Leaf, and Evening Street. John’s work has been translated into Italian and appeared in many journals in Italy. His translator is Angela D’Ambra. John is a former New England Poet of the Year, and teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT. He lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry. Learn more at JohnLStanizzi.com.