Two Poems by Hannah VanderHart

Rock & Water

In modern English, Scylla is the ‘rock,’
Charybdis the ‘hard place.’ When they are
framed this way they ease the mind—
simpler terms for trouble than any location
between a six-headed rock & a gasping
mouth in the ocean’s face. The rock goes in
the right side pocket, the hard place in the
left. Uncannily, Charybdis leaks. The next
time your mother says ‘you are lost,’ tell her
that between the heads & mouth you go singing.

 

Sleepers

That ‘sleepless’ is ‘wakeful,’
that deprivation is gain
in the right refrain.

A law sleeps
when the people
overlook its being.

The proper
time to sleep is in
the darkness of night.

Do all laws sleep at night
and do we agitate in beds
because of it.

A question may sleep,
a weapon may sleep,
happiness sleeps.

For to be awake
at all hours
constitutes pain.

The dead, the careless,
the inattentive or
unconcerned, sleep.

The text sleeps,
wrapped in its
paper jacket.

But the top
that sleeps
rests in movement

spinning smoothly
with unperceived
velocity.


About the Author:

Hannah VanderHart lives by the Severn River in Annapolis, MD. She is a graduate fellow at Georgetown University, where she works with the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. She has poetry published across the US, to include Prick of the Spindle, Rock & Sling, Measure, and also in the UK (1110).