Resident of Greendale since 1990, and Emeritus Professor of English at Marquette University since 2012, Ed has been writing poetry seriously since the 1990s. His first published poem, “Mid-Winter Matins,” appeared in CrossCurrents. Since then he has continued to cultivate his garden and his verse, and produce watercolors in the Milwaukee suburb built in the Depression and calling itself “Tree City U.S.A.”
Long an admirer of Nebraska poet, Ted Kooser, Ed, in 2015, took a writing workshop with internationally known poet, Carolyn Forché. This was a milestone in his poetic growth, and with the encouragement of fellow poet and Denise Levertov fan, Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, he published a collection of reflective verse, Anno Domini, in 2016. A chapbook, Seasons of Change, which Ed bills as about “nature and neighborhood,” followed in 2017.
He is now at work gathering poems for another collection of reflective verse, and another that will be more topical but similarly rooted in Wisconsin loam.
Anno Domini, collection (2016)
Seasons of Change, chapbook (2017)
The mercury stands at four above.
The twigs I gather break and snap,
the falling sap froze dead within the wood.
The sun just up, the sky is bluish gray,
the promise of a brighter day.
This morning, in the dark, the dog beyond the road
Barked once and fell to silence in the gloom.
The pines stood black against the morning sky,
The leafless trees like men and women
raising hands and arms in prayer.
And I remember Merton in his hermitage;
the overalls, the prayers, the everyday routines;
the sacramental fire, kindled,
bringing light and warmth to birth again.
Originally appeared in Anno Domini
A Spring Migration
for Ted Kooser
The snow around the tree recedes.
Their winter trails exposed, the voles
make for the matted leaves, the cracks
between the lannon stone;
the gaps beneath the bent and broken iris stems
that mark the garden’s edge. They
curse the march of spring and vow
to stay abed all day, when once
they find their summer home again.
Originally appeared in Seasons of Change