(A Brilliant) Record Magazine
Dear Poetry Editor:
Enclosed are six poems (Free Entertainment, Coyotes, Oak Pollen, Ragweed, Sparrows, Falcons ) I am submitting for your consideration for publication in (A Brilliant) Record Magazine.
Below is a brief biography:
A native of Tidewater Virginia, Richard (Dick) Peake has become a Texas resident since retirement from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He began writing poetry while an undergraduate, won the Mary Cummings Eudy poetry award, published poems in and became poetry editor of The University of Virginia Magazine. He has published poems in Impetus alongside John Ciardi and Hollis Summers as well as in The Georgia Review and other journals. Collections of his poetry include Wings Across… and Poems for Terence published by Vision Press, which also included poems of his in A Gathering at the Forks. He published further poetry in Birds and Other Beasts in 2007. During 2008 and 2009 he won a number of awards from the Gulf Coast Poets and The Poetry Society of Texas. His poems were published in Sol Magazine, Jimsonweed, and Shine Journal and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Richard H. Peake
The great-tailed grackle irritates many sensitive folk
who think his harsh cacophony and vainglorious strutting gross,
yet they will pay large sums for circuses to see the clowns.
Mockingbirds and yellow-breasted chats keep light sleepers awake
as they serenade all night when the moon is full and they guard nests,
but what a boon these singers give to tired somnambulists.
Musicians who persist in practicing to perfect their sound
long into the night sometimes also find their audience hostile,
so they should cite bird song to justify their persistent art.
Coy animals slip into our lives
often, uninvited and unwanted
only because we offer food
too plentiful to refrain from eating—
cats and kittens and food set out
so temptingly few coyotes can refuse.
Our old white oak
announces spring with pollen
keeping our walkways yellow
to annoy me as I clean,
red-eyed and sneezing frequently,
early fall and mast crop.
Really tall and delicately leaved
are the herbs I hate
growing in my yard
without regard for my allergy.
Eagerly I pull and cut them
every time they appear
doing their best to thwart me.
Some people think sparrows dull
pallbearers of weed patches.
After hearing field sparrow song
rise over a summer meadow
really unfeeling folk
often exclaim and give sparrows
wild unstinting acclaim.
Fast flight on narrow wings
attests the warlike prowess of its stoop
leaving us in awe of falcon force
conveying strength and skill
obeying hawk’s desire to eat—
necessity empowers death strike,
serves nature’s laws, the web of life.