Two Poems by Charles Schubert

Winner of the Central Coast Writer's Contest, Poetry

If You Open Them

Fog cups its palms around the earth
like a secret. Nothing outside
is in focus. The animals go about their routines, traffic
hardly slows to see me watching it.
Around here, night is less blind, it creates
fantasies as surely as birds create
a multicolored dusk against charcoal sky. How quiet
it must be inside their wings, how sharp
the air tastes. If you open
the back of a bird, like a costume, you
will see nothing but the empty distance
between two mountain peaks.

Charles Schubert


2nd Prize Winner of the Central Coast Writer’s Contest, Poetry

Mexico, Years Later

The air feels later than it should.
The sky and waves smell old, a little past
their prime. I walked here
years ago, between the bay and little town
without an English name. It’s memory darts
in and out of view like headlights
speeding away. The warm
surf was full of stars, millions of
invisible generations
who lived and died there,
who were at home
in the cycling roll of each wave. Eons
of their kind have come and gone
since I waded through their midst.
Somewhere in a drawer I keep
a faded shirt, dipped through
their wake, whose fibers today must
still be shot through with the atoms
from these cold meteors.

Charles Schubert