Poet's showcase

The Empty Room For Carolyn Doty
By Silvia Kofler

The shut door stares at me
hides the empty room where the wolf
no longer howls
from the poster
and the potted yellow silk daisies
no longer smile from the edge
of the bookshelf.

The shut door looms brown
without its green, yellow
and purple flyer-quilt of notes
announcing
readings,
contests
and conferences.

The empty room
cannot read
the latest news
on the computer screen
nor advise me on
the right snapshot
for my book of verse.


Still Life With Barns
By Gary Lechliter

Driving into a fogbank
on highway 40, I cling
to the now, everything
darkening in relativity,
hedgerows, combines,
fence needing repairs;
the silos barely visible.

Dawn lights the dim barns
where cows are milked,
eggs gathered, the tired
horses sleep on their sides.
I pass and stir the fog
in eddies, as bur oaks
by the side of the road

arise like ghosts with
no purpose for existing
but the dark assurance
that oaks like bois d-- arc
will surely be around
when silos and barns
have become extinct.

-- Silvia Kofler lives in Kansas City, Mo., and teaches creative writing at Kansas University. Gary Lechliter lives in Lawrence and is a vocational rehabilitation therapist at the VA hospital in Topeka. Both will read their work at 7 p.m. Friday as part of the 2004 Lawrence Poetry Series. The series will present area poets every Friday in April -- National Poetry Month -- at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H. A story about the poets appears on Page 1D.

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