Published Poetry by Saxon Henry
Anywhere But Here is available through Amazon, the collection of poems representing two decades of my poetic explorations and my first published book of poetry.
Education as a Poet
I had the tremendous pleasure of studying poetry at Vermont College, one of my mentors there being Tom Absher. He inspired me to dig deep and to understand how beauty lurks in language, needing only to be teased out to spark the imagination. Here is one of my poems from that era, which will be included in my forthcoming book of poems Anywhere But Here.
—for Jim Ritter of Buck Creek Jazz Band
He blew the heart out of heaven,
flung the notes into the din
of man-made storm.
In three hours
he sifted through
all the cries
men were given
before the world
went sinfully silent.
He drew us in,
turned on the smokey room
and picked the ribs of noise
until sound bled—
© Saxon Henry
Graduate Work With the Late William Packard
While working toward a graduate degree at New York University, I had the great fortune of studying with poet, playwright and acting coach William Packard. He has been a tremendous influence on me as a poet, playwright and aesthetically driven human being. Below are several poems I wrote while under his mentorship.
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great!
…God has remembered her iniquities…
…mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed…”
The wind lifts spray from a lit fountain above
a gouged bench on a platform for the 1 and 9,
where raucous girls—one with orange matted hair
and a ditzy brunette in a poodle coat—
disregard stares and laughter.
An anxious woman in a fur
watches the board at Penn Station
while her escort checks his watch again,
as if his need for a hit of culture has been sated
by an operatic rush and a voluminous meal.
When they board the express train for Babylon
do they return to an avenue of brick houses
poised on the brink of the Great South Bay?
As they careen from the tunnel into the vaulted language of night,
how long will they stare out the window, silent as sentinels?
© Saxon Henry
Published in the New York Quarterly,
Issue 59/ June 2003
THE BURDEN OF COINCIDENCE
-Lower Brule Reservation, South Dakota
I’ve been given a room where a bent fly swatter
and a Niobrara Cross on a beaded chain
hang on a nail by the dresser.
My window faces where Crazy Horse
and Iron Nation Streets converge —
a vacant corner since a housing project
was lifted from the soil. I watch
as children scatter, tossing fire crackers
onto the dirt. Each time I flinch
like my mother’s poodle when he was smacked
for nervously chewing his own skin.
This hem of the prairie is splattered with light
punctuating the fourth of July. In the church next door,
the priest reads Psalms about the righteousness of giving
while the washing machines in the laundromat mouth
© Saxon Henry
Published in Skidrow Penthouse/Volume 2