Three Poems by Dave Hardin



Three times now I’ve seen them.

Crossing the yard

but three weeks ago

led, leashed by the dog

to the solemn Norway spruce

that celebrates mass

and blesses her gifts

the third such that morning.

Enamel blue sky

after a three day snow

precise transverse incision

above the southern horizon

inscribed by a thieving sun

that pockets the night

in minute slivers we’ll never miss.

Motor drone, born full term

into silence, triplets

soothing themselves

a low hymn sung in one voice

gracing the frame

at three o’clock

tacking west to skirt the zoo

slender as books

of stillborn poems

wing spans a third or better

the length of each slippery yellow lozenge

nosing ahead

through an alphabet

of airy proverbs

hacked to pieces in prop wash.

Details, details

the devil detained at the boarding gate

pilots banking for a final run

feathering sticks

dipping wings

in blessed watery sunlight

haloed crosses peeling off

one, two, three

the dog and me

retracing our steps

one short of a triumvirate.


Leaving Chicago


Chicago must look awfully

inviting from the bleak landscape

of the polar bear exhibit; a


red herring when you consider his

million dollar view of the Loop

belies the fact that just behind him,


beyond the bowl of faux bedrock, Lake

Shore Drive and the egalitarian

health club lure of the waterfront,


freedom beckons.  Provided our bear

can work out the details of a classic

Hollywood escape concealed in a


hamper piled high with snow white linen,

resist the siren song of Milwaukee

and the Dells beyond, once he gets his


bearings nothing stands between him and

home.  My only advice besides the

usual caution against high season


rates on Mackinac Island would be:

Always keep Canada on your left;

a deceptively simple rule


to ward off the wags in Detroit who

never tire of reminding

anyone who will listen that the


Motor City is north of their frozen

neighbor.  He might feel a twinge of

regret as he bids adieu to Gaspe,


Gulf of St. Lawrence ahead,

treading water for a moment, alone

with his bittersweet memories


of Lincoln Park tucked agreeably

between the Miracle Mile and

Wrigley Field, swarming with Twenty


Something’s talking easily at small

outdoor tables, warm for April, one

long pause before heading out to sea.





Send a moist finger oozing around the loping edge

eye lids closed

on the perfectly round marbles

of your irises

every languorous exhalation

nudging this pin wheeling planet

ticking around a fluid axis

the Wheel of Life

magisterial to the end

leeched of color

cooling with soft metallic ticks

but the cam

that eccentric wheel

with the lopsided grin

delivers a wallop

and throws off the heat

as it erodes with a racket

refusing to go gentle into that goodnight.


Dave Hardin is a Michigan poet and artist.  His poems have appeared in 3 Quarks Daily, The Drunken Boat, Epigraph Magazine, Loose Change, The Prague Revue, The Detroit Metro Times and others.   He contributes to Scrum,, a blog of poetry and satire.  Visual work is on display at  In 2012 he self-published A Ruinous Thirst, a collection of poems.   Contact Dave at or




Filed under: Prose/Poetry, Submissions

Leave a comment