Poetry from J. K. Durick

               Skin Deep


There should be a zipper in the back
So on days like this we could unzip
Step out of it, fold it carefully, then
Leave it on the kitchen counter, and
Out we go, without beauty, without
Race, just crisscrosses of pink and
Shades of red, some off whites, and
Greys, fat and bones, some muscles
And all those veins and arteries that
Keep us going; it’s easy enough to
Imagine, we’d go around like one of
Those biology class torsos, visible man
Visible woman, all our working parts
Exposed, ready to be pointed out, or
Pulled out and examined if need be;
There would be equality in all this
A new nakedness, a different sense of
Ourselves and others, of how we move

And how we should fill our space and time.



            The Incomplete Angler


There should be something catchy to call him,
The casting castaway, the incomplete angler,
Something to catch his actions, his presence,
His hours of walking the pier, flicking his line
Into the water between the boats, his jerking
His line while walking, reeling in and casting
Over and over, without the encouragement
Of a catch, a fish of any sort, it’s movement
Without results, without a pause, and at some
Point each day he removes his shirt, continues
Browning and burning the hours away, walking
Casting, flicking the line; everyone watches him,
We all do, waiting for the fish that never appears,
He never stops to bait the hook or check his lure,
It’s as if nothing were wrong, he plays his part,
The fish play theirs, none at all, fishing without
The fish, dancing without the dance, he moves on,
The incomplete angler, content, contained, while

The rest of us expect to find a fish on every line.



   Truth and Beauty
It’s not so much where
or when, or even how
we find them,
it’s that we still do
that surprises us most.
We expect so little,
but sometimes if
we sit perfectly still
hold our breaths
lift our feet just so
and suspend all our reasons
to disbelieve
we find them.
We find them
here and over there
and if we look quickly
there’s some more
trying to hide over there.
We find them
and they’re ours,
at least for that moment
they’re ours.
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Social Justice Poetry, Tuck Magazine, Yellow Chair Review,Madswirl, and Haikuniverse.