‘Pond Poems’ by John L. Stanizzi


These are poems from a project called POND. Every day, for one year, I will walk to our pond, jot a few notes, and take a photo or two. Then I’ll write a 4-line acrostic using P, O, N, D as my first letters, with the extra caveat of never using the same first-word twice. I began the book on November 9, 2018 – will finish November 9, 2019.

11.33 a.m.
34 degrees

Pluvial night, the rain hangs on as mist.
Opiod-ripples as a branch releases its gems of rain,
normal and lonely an act as releasing its leaves,
downward in silence, all around me the sound of rushing water.

8.54 a.m.
12 degrees


Perforated by the wind, each tree creaks, and I see
only the spaces between them roughly outlined.
Nightspot of cloudy ice crowds the spout;
driven ripples ride the thin coastline of ice covering half the pond.

12.22 a.m.
35 degrees

Pond completely thawed

Prostrate switchgrass, brown now; not much else green
outside of the coarse cedar, its knuckled cones,
needles, and sweet ubiquitous scent.
Downwind, even standing in two feet of snow, I’ll summon spring.

John L. Stanizzi is author of the full-length collections – Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, and Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces. His newest book, Chants, will be out in February with Cervena Barva Press.

Three Microfictions by John L. Stanizzi

sc july 18

Rain in the Leaves

Rain caught in the leaves is tenuous, each leaf dappled with crystal, a redundancy of little water-globes, where, if we could, we’d see our own awestruck reflections in each drop, as the wind shakes out this bag of jewels with the sound of exhausted applause on the languid river.

2 a.m.

Day will become vast.  Light opening.  But now, after rain, it’s black.  Ground.  Trees.  Pondwater.

In darkness, treefrogs fill their bubbles with love, stick to their trees, chanting.

Thick stillness reaches in the window, touches the bark of my shoulders with its humid hands, might sing for me of summer.

Perfect Timing

Early spring afternoon, driving by my son’s house.  At the exact moment I was passing by, Jonah, my grandson, was doing a somersault on the lawn.  He was in mid-air, upside down, hair wild, his overturned smile the brightest thing in the day.  Late May, everything nearly in full bloom.

John L. Stanizzi is author of the full-length collections – Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, and High Tide – Ebb Tide.  His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, Rust & Moth, Connecticut River Review, Potomac Review, and many others.  He’s been translated into Italian and appeared in El Ghibli, in the Journal of Italian Translations Bonafinni, and Poetarium Silva.  His translator is Angela D’Ambra.  His new collection, CHANTS, a memoir in sonnets, will be out in 2018 with Cervena Barva Press.  His full-length collection, Sundowning, has just been completed and is looking for a home.  John has read and venues all over New England, including the Mystic Arts Café, and the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Mystic Arts Gallery, Hartford Stages, and many others.  A former New England Poet of the Year, John teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.