Official New Hampshire website
NHSCA logo 50th anniversary tagline


 nh arts home
 program services
trans div
 arts & artists
   artist rosters
   poet laureate
   artist laureate
trans div
nh folklife
 news & calendar
 about us
 site map



Arts & Artists  

New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Walter E. Butts

At my request, the NH Arts Council is providing me with a link to the poet laureate page on their website in order that I may continue to showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include those who are seriously working at their craft from many areas of the state.

Featured Poet: James Duffy, Keene

James DuffyJames Duffy lives in Keene, NH.  He holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College.  His poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, the eleventh MUSE, Contemporary Review, Aurora, and Crying Sky: Poetry and Conversation.  His poem, Prayer, was included in the anthology Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets.

The poem I have chosen, Do Not Miss What is Here, reflects my ongoing concern with our ecology.  I am also ever aware--  when I attempt to write poems-- of the gap between language and experience and how one seeks to make order out of seemingly random thoughts and events in search of meaning, freedom, love,control and security.   Fools Crow was a Native American healer who helped negotiate an end to the standoff at Wounded Knee. 

Do Not Miss What is Here

The machine under the skin
makes up the logic now and then
a land of stone and cold wind.

It is difficult to see a hair
at midnight.  These windows
are absurd.  What can I sketch on the walls?

Wild West.  White City.  Electricity
Building.  I wave sadly
at the butterflies, catacombs of

beetles, some leaves on the tree
that remain.  A small red glow that
moves abruptly.  Sweet grass

folds in presence.  I hear an owl call.
Fools Crow could travel for days outside
his body when he spit on the lodge stones

igniting his prayer.
Thomas Edison said man is a
systematically managed

corporate machine whose units-- endowed
with great intelligence-- concentrate
in small cells like towns

within which many citizens dwell.
Mullen seeds-- dormant for
hundreds of years-- are known to sprout

hold and heal scarred earth.

Something is happening meanwhile.
The light grows out again the disarray
of sunrise.  I distinguish more certain shapes. 



Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: September 3, 2009

nh | privacy policy | accessibility policy