Poet’s Corner


I saw an old man
By Peter Ledermann

I saw an old man who looked like a tree
he said no one saw him (no one but me)
so he let me lie down with my back to his bark
as the evening sky rolled through his arms into dark

I came to him often to ask many things
why seasons must change, how the birds got their wings
why he was my friend, why water was deep
why some things must pass and others must keep

and if I was quiet he’d show me the way
he’d answer (in time) with the world in his sway
his arms waltzed the grasses while they made the air sing
and he held me (above him) as the world was breathing

How the deepening light makes shadows to fall
So creatures can come and find places to sleep
how light and darkness were clues to it all
how some were made full, and others to weep

how water is found where it cannot be seen
how everything’s patterned with laws we can’t see
how man’s dominion is not colored green
how the secrets are guarded by every old tree

so he whispered in tunes, conducted songs in the air
he colored the wind and he played with my hair
he waltzed with the grasses, allowed me always to start
and felt every tear for every beat of my heart

Peter Ledermann is an engineer and inventor who has been writing poetry that he “receives spontaneously” since he was 9 years old. A part-time resident of West Tisbury, he is a member of the Cleaveland House Poets and has published one book of poems, illustrated with his own watercolors.

Poets with a connection to Martha’s Vineyard are encouraged to submit poems to Poet’s Corner curator Laura Roosevelt at ldroosevelt@gmail.com