Talvikki Ansel

Talvikki Ansel Poems


Olive green of pond water, tea-
colored is the newt's body.
Legs stroking, it floats close
to the surface, lazily circles

The wasp's gray sphere,
papered layers I held
imagining the wings' heat

it's iron, the bottle
crouched on its white pedestal,
long beak spout and wide open handle

Tree of the musky pods split open,
of almond-shaped leaflets, taut skin,
the Cooper's Hawk picking off a fat pigeon
in the bank parking lot,

Smoothed ribbon, night light, once
there were wool dogs isolated
on an island off the sand spit.
My dovekie, my twisted strand of kelp


White putty under finger nails,
milky on fingerprints and the back of your t-shirt,
pushed between mullion and glass

Impossible to catalogue them all
because half are gone
the numbers of beans, speckled and mottled,

A vesper sparrow sings
against a melon and lavender striped
sky, on another card,

Summer's over, and we never even
drank at the Ocean House, that yellow
elegance they'll tear down this year.

Talvikki Ansel Biography

Talvikki Ansel is an American poet. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1985, and Indiana University. Her poems have appeared in the anthologies New Young American Poets (Southern Illinois University, 2000) and The Pushcart Prize XXVI, and in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The Journal, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and Shenandoah. She teaches at the University of Rhode Island.)

The Best Poem Of Talvikki Ansel


Olive green of pond water, tea-
colored is the newt's body.
Legs stroking, it floats close
to the surface, lazily circles
the dock's posts, a fish
swallowing in the shallows.
Its feet once walked moss, logs—
a world and name, eft, left behind.
Pinpoints of vermilion
freckle its skin. It nudges
under foating leaves blown down
from the trees. Saturdays,
the zebra-striped plane flies up
from the neighboring fields.
Its roar follows the tree edge,
our pork-chop-shaped parcel of land,
turns back at the boundary. Over
the woods, over the dock,
narrow trails and deer paths,
the dead tree where the vulture roosts.
A finite number of times the engine
will go up, up. The zebra in the circus
ring prances round. Rises
the snapping turtle's triangle face
from the mud. My wishing to nudge
the days larger, longer. A girl's run
in the woods at dusk—blue shorts
the hunters saw briefly as the deer's
flickering of blue sky.

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