poetry by James A. Perkins

Cricket

Eleven against one
over after over
bowler against batsman
eye to eye across the pitch
while the others stand
like Segal statues
in their white flannels.

That stone wall snaking
over that green hill
against the bright blue sky
moves faster than a match.

By the time they pause for tea,
I realize that it is like baseball
during a rain delay.

 

Deaf Monks

Long after sounds fade
deaf monks finger vibrations
in the campanile.

 

Fences

Two men side by side
in North Yorkshire
repairing a dry wall
stone by stone
tapping each
carefully in place

I consider stopping
quoting Frost to them
about how “Good fences
make good neighbors”
and about how “Something there is
that doesn’t love a wall.”

But they know
ear marks and dye marks
that keep ownership straight
make good neighbors.

“This Frost,” they’d say to me,
“He never kept sheep, did he?”


James A. Perkins, a Professor Emeritus of English and Public Relations at Westminster College, holds degrees from Centre College, Miami University and The University of Tennessee.  Perkins, who has written or edited books a number of Southern writers, is also a poet and a short story writer. His poetry has appeared in Black Fly Review, Cape Rock, the Southern Review, Colorado Review, and Antigonish Review. He was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Seoul National University in 1998 and was given Westminster College’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2006. His latest collection poetry can be found on Amazon.com as can his collection of short fiction.