Tom Sexton: New Poem

We have a new poem from Tom Sexton in Alaska, an avid reader of the blog and regular contributor. Tom’s Lowell poems will be published by Loom Press later this year in a collection titled Cummiskey Alley. Tom grew up in the city and now counts among his honors his selection as a Distinguished Alumni of Lowell High School and his appointment to serve as Poet Laureate of Alaska some years back. His most recent book is Li Bai Rides a Celestial Dolphin Home (University of Alaska Press).

Far from Either Coast

for PM


An email from a poet I met once years

ago who lives on an island visited

only by family or by the undertaker,

his quip. He’s like a voice out of the mist

I tell my wife, a solitary, almost a ghost

before he begins to name-drop other poets

even a few who live far from either coast.

I’m flattered I tell the dog who wants to go.


Poets are as necessary as our first love

he writes. I feel like a pitcher about to balk

so I put on my coat then my winter gloves.

Light fluffy snow, perfect for a long walk,

but still I wonder why do I write poetry

knowing I might as well be asking the snow.


—Tom Sexton (c) 2020