Like a boxer finding his feet

Gets off the floor

Or a ship buoyantly climbs

The crest with a groan

An unseen technician

Slides the dial, and here

Comes our plentiful

European light;

No scavenging hyenas

Or roaming hawkers here

To disturb our preening

Stillness. Only swans

Doing their best to glide

Like card cut-outs

Across the perfect stage

Where a man sits

Head in hands, watched

By sleeping strangers

Whilst he declares

“Morning won’t suffice.”

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HENNING KOCH (b. 1962) moved to England at an early age and grew up there. After finishing college, he spent half a decade backpacking and occasionally working as a language teacher. He has a long history of involvement in low-budget movie projects as a screenwriter and continues to write screenplays. In 2005 he moved to Sardinia and, since 2010, has been spending increasing amounts of time in Berlin. He is the author of Love Doesn’t Work (Dzanc, 2011), a short story collection. His novel The Maggot People will be published in 2012, also by Dzanc Books: http://www.dzancbooks.org/love-doesnt-work/

13 responses to “Morning Won’t Suffice”

  1. Zara Potts says:

    Are we ever completely satisfied? I don’t think so. It takes a rare person to appreciate beauty just for itself without calculating its value or wanting to possess it somehow.

    Morning will never suffice for most people, I’m afraid. We always want a perfect afternoon, a starlit evening, a storm, a clear day, greener grass.

    But sometimes, just sometimes, I find that in a quiet times, with a dawn chorus as a gentle accompaniment – morning does suffice.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Henning Koch says:

    Thanks, Zara. Somehow, the people who are most appreciative of what they have are the ones who have almost nothing. That’s in my experience, anyhow… I don’t mean that to sound like a moralising statement, it’s more of an observation… and an implied question: Why?

    • Brian Eckert says:

      Cool poem, and equally cool questions raised.

      Re: “Why?”

      It’s as if upward mobility were an end in itself, and not the draw to a flame that will provide greater warmth.

      The ones who appreciate what they have are often those who hold no greater hope for having more. Sans the means, or the desire, to possess more, they are content with less.

      Or, so my own observations lead me to deduce.

  3. Henning Koch says:

    “Getting and spending, we lay waste…” (W. Wordsworth)
    We all do it, it’s a 21st century consumerist affliction I think. Also a 20th.
    “There’s something happening here but… [we] don’t know what it is…” (R. Zimmerman)
    I think I forgot where I put the alarm clock (I said that).

  4. Henning Koch says:

    Deleuze and Guattam once wrote, a little tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless, that “our society produces schizos the same way it produces Prell Shampoo or Ford cars, the only difference being that schizos are not saleable.”

  5. sheree says:

    and an implied question: Why?

    Sometimes being alive is enough. For some of us it’s just that damn simple.
    Great post.

  6. Irene Zion says:

    Damn, Henning,
    That was really wonderful.
    Is that the first poem you’ve posted here?

    (My last address for you is in Italy, and I don’t have your e mail address, so could you send me your address, my Christmas cards are ready. [email protected] Thanks.)

  7. Henning Koch says:

    Well yes, Irene, first poem, something about a poem makes you want to hide it. Know that feeling? I would love to dig up a few more, will do.
    PS. Sent note & address…

  8. Irene Zion says:

    It’s because they’re so personal.
    Don’t hide them.
    Post them.

  9. Henning Koch says:

    But I think we have to send poems to the poetry editor, we can’t just upload them. Anyone know?

  10. Henning Koch says:

    I won’t hide them, you’re right Irene!

  11. Hank Cherry says:

    This has got that sort of Robert Creeley false simplicity, you get taken in by the flow and ease of it, only to realize something great is unfolding before you, like when a great sax solo comes out, and it makes you think you could play saxophone it’s so good.

  12. Henning Koch says:

    Thanks, glad you liked it and it’s good to know someone took time to read a poem. I have not read so much Robert Creeley but I will check him out – any particular collection of his you’d recommend? Charles Olson and Allen Ginsberg are big favorites of mine. Also Charles Bukowski, I try to take a dose of him daily as a sort of medicine.

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