Christopher Merrill Poems

Hit Title Date Added
A Boy Juggling A Soccer Ball

after practice: right foot
to left foot, stepping forward and back,
to right foot and left foot,
and left foot up to his thigh, holding


A map on which the names have been erased,

A compass pivoting on a black cross,

Sextants dismantled and displayed in a store

Razed and rebuilt in the Jewish Quarter—this is

Poem Ending With A Line By George W. Bush

The screening of the film on genocide,
Designed to build momentum for the final
Lecture at the festival of human rights,
Was marred by the projectionist's refusal

Lines On The Death Of Ingmar Bergman

A woman sketching, a man steeped in gin—

Note how the final scene assembling

In the rain shadow of a mountain range

Ablaze from ridge to ridge carries no hint


On the first day the goat climbed to the top branch of the acacia tree and said, The ship sailing to the new world will sink before it leaves the harbor. He stayed there all night, counting the stars in three constellations that he had never seen before, and in the morning he cleaned himself up and said, The fishermen mending their nets will never take to the sea again.

The Petitions

The edifice was complete—the signatures, secret teachings, and sacrificial victims locked in stone, the jewelry, linens, and banners of the vanquished hung from the parapets—when a great wind swept through the city.


When I wake up, I’m still asleep.

And when I get dressed, my clothes are missing.

And when I finish breakfast, I’m always hungry.

And when I walk to school, the street is empty.

Diptych (2)

How the white horses gallop through the city

At nightfall, when the fog rolls in from the sea

And one by one the street lamps fail to light.



The hammer falls silent, a mourning dove coos in the pigeon house by the olive grove, and in the renovated church the bells ring for vespers

Fall And Recovery

For example, the crack widening in the window of the plane flying over Greenland: crazing is the word used by the safety inspector to describe the mesh of lines spreading from the bullet-sized hole in the plastic through which shine

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