The Fountain Pen by Gary Soto

Neruda's fountain pen was a tree limb,
Large even in his hands, the vein of ink dark as earth.
When he wrote, wind stirred his journal,
Rain slapped gutters,
sunlight blazed on his poems,
Fruit dropped from a dozen different trees,
And the sea rolled its knuckles repeatedly
Against the shore.
And we could speak of lightning,
Of a crab dragging its claws like wrenches,
Of Lorca's shivering shadow held against a wall.
Over coffee mellowed by milk, we could speak of sugar
On a worker's back, of an onion with its buried tears,
Of a composer's need for the mood
To retrieve him from sleep.
Neruda scratched out poems in the shape of Chile,
His head lit with sweat,
For it took mighty strength to move earth and sea.
The fountain pen was a log,
His fingers the fingers of a man
Who pounded leather for a living,
Who rose before morning to spank dough into bread,
Who carted oranges, who scooped peanuts into sacks,
Who rubbed oils into hairlines
Receding like the sea.



Read the entire poem HERE (Please note that the entire poem is no longer archived at Poems.com)


(C) Gary Soto


This poem was sourced from Poems.com (Poetry Daily) 




(From the SSC Arcives: originally posted 2010)