michael hogan

michael hogan Poems

In memoriam Francis X. Hogan (1913-1974)

On Sunday mornings in March my father
would take a homemade kite broad as his back

After a night of rain
eucalyptus hangs heavy and redolent with damp breath.
Ground fog clings to unmown grasses in the park
where the dog bounds like a joyful shadow.

It is the time of the jacaranda
when streets are violet carpets
and venders call "Hay elotes! " in the early evening.
No reason to think this could not last forever

When the sun comes early
through eastern windows
and a single horsefly buzzsaws the air
it is then I rise from bed

A coyote paces the enclosure
his eyes looking toward the hills.
His paws had been stung by barbed wire, broken glass
until the pads were cracked and bloodied.

I was raised in the decade of the death of the elms
with the sight of Sputnik twinkling in the night sky
where one could walk the last of the driftwood beaches
and see weathered cottages beyond the dunes.

The moon fades over Arizona and the morning sun is more dangerous.
Even the rain when it finally falls is no friend to man
or woman either.
Toads cry like lost children when the torrent ceases

A girl reclining by an open window.
I do not say this way
the only thing one saw that day.
There was a strip of luminous green,

The one you could not wait for
so you went ahead
as children do in the snow
to make fallen angels.

Where it comes from is anybody's guess
but on a clear afternoon when
the earth is brilliant with its own shining—
Chinese lanterns of red maples


Ice has been cracking all day
and small boys on the shore
pretending it is the booming of artillery
lie prone clutching imaginary carbines.

Every morning she is born again
the tree sparrows singing in the maples
the sun coming through the venetian blinds.
An awakening from a sleep so profound

When her husband died she developed a fear of open places. It happened suddenly. One morning she walked outside and the world was one great vista. Trees were flying off in space. There seemed a mile of lawn between her house and the

After a night of firecrackers and rockets
heralding a heavenly host and a child king
the dog and I walk out into the mist
where just before dawn the cold rises from the earth

Dark and lugubrious, his eyes
signify no intent beyond brooding.
All day he has been posed on thermals
as if the land would rise like a hand

for Lucinda

At the southernmost point the sun
stands guarding a place

Not far from the Cooper River Bridge
this cornfield ends in marshland.
A solitary crow goes there and returns.
This morning, children from our farm,

No es lo mismo decir ventana
que "window." - Camilo José Cela

Outside the hummingbird blinks

-Viña del Mar, Chile

Ascend those hills away from glitz of Malecón and Casino
where streets tangle around themselves and stone buildings

michael hogan Biography

MICHAEL HOGAN was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1943. He is the author of twenty-two books including novels, histories, social and political essays, short story collections and poetry. His work has received two Pushcart Prizes, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, a PEN Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award and the gold medal of the Mexican Geographical Society. His poetry is widely anthologized and appears in many textbooks. Hogan has worked as consultant for the Western States Arts Foundation, for the Poets in the Schools programs in Arizona, Colorado and California, and for the National Endowment for the Arts conducting writing workshops in prisons. For two decades he was head of the English Department at the prestigious American School of Guadalajara and, most recently, was Latin American Consultant to the State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools. He lives in Guadalajara with the textile artist Lucinda Mayo and their dog, Molly Malone. “Hogan’s poems are virtually free of the ego and fake emotion, the public posturing and self-regard that infect so much recent poetry. For Hogan to undertake the poem is to undertake the possibility of radical transformation. The humility and compassion of his poems warm me when others leave me chilled to the bone. He rewards the reader with intelligence and warmth and a wide sweep of understanding.” Sam Hamill, American Poetry Review.)

The Best Poem Of michael hogan


In memoriam Francis X. Hogan (1913-1974)

On Sunday mornings in March my father
would take a homemade kite broad as his back
up the hill near Reeve's Farm.
This was how men learned of flight
he told me then.

Racing down that hill to catch the wind
where there was none to speak of,
the kite (gradually lifting) caught at last
on a thermal from the sea his running almost reached.
He told me breathless watching it rise:
The Chinese were the first.
They made them shaped like dragons
which in those days roamed the whole earth
free and flaming.

And from the hill above Reeve's Farm
I knew them, floating in the mist over the ocean,
soaring down where the waves spoke of the sun,
gold and restless
and beyond the waves, too, to where he looked.

In school, he said, pulling the string
which tugs at me still.
In school they will tell you
dragons do not exist.

michael hogan Comments

Michael Hogan 24 May 2017

Thanks, Debra Jean. Great to see you here!

1 0 Reply
Michael Hogan 24 May 2017

Thanks, Debra Jean! Great to see you here.

1 0 Reply
Debrajean Sullivan 11 September 2016

Great to find this link on Michael Hogan via his Facebook page.

2 0 Reply

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