The National Poetry Review

Jeff Hardin


The obvious serves as an eyehole

through which one sees the overlooked.

As if “I” were a sentence all to itself, without a self at all.

So rudimentary,

the color suggests we let the sky stand in for the mind.


I’m just curious

when I ask if the sound of a falling leaf is resounding.

Tongue, please explain the tonal taste of holding a word you will not speak.

And now, per se, how pose or parse

the price of pensiveness?



I know you won’t admit I’ve touched your hem.

Hard to imagine but some of her words were sculpted on the air.

How presume to keep inventory

when no one knows the extent of what exists.



keep your hands off the grass and that tulip now stunning the ditch.

JEFF HARDIN is the author of five collections of poetry: Fall Sanctuary (Nicholas Roerich Prize); Notes for a Praise Book (Jacar Press Book Award); Restoring the Narrative (Donald Justice Prize); Small Revolution; and No Other Kind of World (X. J. Kennedy Prize). The New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Southwest Review, North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry Northwest, Hotel Amerika, and Southern Poetry Review have published his poems. He teaches at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN.

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