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Metamorphosis, and: The Effortless
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How green the city in its skin, night waters
Flashing the bay with light, the green
Of spring in the foamy waves. How the world glows
With a green fire, neon lit and subterranean;
Whole seas wash over the coffee tables
Into the soup of families settling down
For the six o'clock news; night fire
Paints their faces: father, mother,
Son, daughter rise from their daily selves
Dreaming of other lives where the city
Waits, so many calls in the flashing
Dark, so many masks, the city
A crystal ball in the middle of the supper table,
The city a chrysalis where the family
Waits, wholly asleep, its apotheosis.

The Effortless

In a slow skittering the mallard lifts itself
And crosses the pond barely above water;
You can feel the strain like an old biplane
Rising and bouncing down again, so unlike
The sparrow's utterly effortless being anywhere
It wants on the slightest impulse. Think of
Those complex figure eights and Immelmanns
Of the hummingbird so tiny it remains
Invisible at eighty beats a second or
The unmoving wings of a wood stork as
It glides for miles riding thermals.
How I envy those whose performance dazzles
With its seeming effortlessness. Oh to be born
Like Fred Astaire! To sing like Frank Sinatra,
To be as quick-witted as Johnny Carson! At
Best I am a mallard trying really hard with
My belly splashing and skipping over the pond
Just for a slow, short ride on air.

Ron De Maris  

Ron De Maris is an endowed chair emeritus at Miami Dade College. He taught creative writing, composition, and humanities for forty years. His involvement with poetry, art history, history, and philosophy inspired him to start writing poetry at age forty. According to De Maris, "In my old age poetry has been a blessing. It teaches me to live fully in the moment and to keep those moments alive in my poetry."

Copyright © 2013 Louisiana State University Press
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Ron De Maris. "Metamorphosis, and: The Effortless." Southern Review 49.2 (2013): 276-277. Project MUSE. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Maris, R. D.(2013). Metamorphosis, and: The Effortless. Southern Review 49(2), 276-277. Louisiana State University Press. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Ron De Maris. "Metamorphosis, and: The Effortless." Southern Review 49, no. 2 (2013): 276-277. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed April 10, 2013).
T1 - Metamorphosis, and: The Effortless
A1 - Ron De Maris
JF - Southern Review
VL - 49
IS - 2
SP - 276
EP - 277
PY - 2013
PB - Louisiana State University Press
SN - 2168-5541
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_review/v049/49.2.de-maris.html
N1 - Volume 49, Number 2, Spring 2013
ER -


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