Tag Archives: Will Reger

Victoria Road by Will Reger

Infrared_Road_Dog_-_(1)

The boy on his way to school
Saw the earth eating a dog.
Black and brown, warm and sleek,
A lolling grin so like its kind:
It was killed by a car and
Fell among the roadside weeds
Without notice and was still.
How long did the earth dance on
Before the boy saw its muscles parsed
Away in trails of stench–a week?
Two weeks?  With moon and sun
Rushing to keep pace, the stars sliding
Out of her way, their milky bouquet
Stretched across the ballroom of night,
This boy peddled to and fro past
Those teeth grinning whiter now
That the earth had nibbled away,
Taking in the dog, one sip at a time.
He had heard stories how the earth
Will one day disgorge
Her long meal of the dead,
And later wished he had taken
A tooth or something to
Summon the dog when it rises.

_____________________________________
Reger PhotoWill Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois and currently teaches history at Illinois State University. He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife and two youngest children. He began writing poetry in the 7th grade and never quite stopped. He also plays the Native American Flute. He has recently had poems published in Fire in the Pasture and songs/cycles (and, of course, here on WIZ).

Photo: “Infrared Road Dog” by Mike Lewinski via Wikimedia Commons, 2012.

Cicada by Will Reger

800px-Ants_eating_cicada,_jjron_22.11.2009

Cicada settles on the sidewalk
to wait the final embrace of
opossum’s maw or
the sweet reduction of ants.
The bulging eyes
fold in on themselves,
arthritic death clenches
once nimble wings, and
beetles rush to sip
the cooling ichor of life,
while dragonflies above
dance the wake.
And I walk by and by and by,
still humming the spiraling
summer song,
the siren call,
the joyous scream,
made agony in the short
pinch
of time.

______________________________________
Will Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois and currently teaches history at Illinois State University. He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife and two youngest children. He began writing poetry in the 7th grade and never quite stopped. He also plays the Native American Flute. He has recently had poems published in Fire in the Pasture and songs/cycles (and, of course, here on WIZ).

Photo credit: John O’Neill, via Wikimedia Commons.

Berry Picking by Will Reger

Lewis Collard--"Blackberries, ripe and unripe"

These are the woods
Where my mother played,
Her playhouse—an outline of
Stones on the ground.
Beside the creek
Her father gardened, 
But the water rose
And spread his seeds 
Among the trees.
Summer was the time
For berry picking.
We each took a bucket,
Walked into the woods
And filled it with berries.
The aunts said, “Don’t pick
The unripe berries,
The rosy green ones,
The color of dawn:
Pick the ripe ones,
Black as hell,
Full of the sun
And ready to explode.”
At the edge of the woods
A castle of canes,
Curving thorns
As sharp as shark’s teeth
Kept us out,
But Grandma’s dog,
An arthritic hound,
His black coat sleek
And hot from the sun
Bayed at some creature and
Shambled after it
Into the thicket.
Above, two eagles
Breasted the wind
Like knives at the ready,
Their scything shadows
Swept across us.
All of this happened,
Nothing remarkable:
But memory sanctifies
Lost moments like this, 
This day of picking
Berries, this day
Of eating fat berries
Till the juice fills our veins.

_____________________________
Will Reger has contributed several poems to WIZ. You can find his bio here.

Photo by Lewis Collard via Wikimedia Commons.

Caught in Snow by Will Reger

Kalina Reger--Monkey Escaped

Her race presumes
Imperious cuteness

Conquers all—even
Monday snowfall when,

From her comfortable nest
At the top of the stairs,

This scroll of fur and claw
Uncoiled, shot outside,

Her eye distilled
For the hunt: tiger demon
Fell to winter’s ambush—

Snow knives, hawk
Shadow circling,

Coyotes lambent
Among the weeds, iron

Curve of sky—and
Beyond the clouds

Orion tips his sword
At each of us.

______________________________
Will Reger is a history professor at Illinois State University in Champaign. In addition to his contributions to WIZ, he has recently published in Fire in the Pasture and songs/cycles.

Photo by Kalina Reger. Used with permission.