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Selected poems from a little rain, a little more

By Ron Czerwien

Cover art: "Blue Medley" © copyright Elwira Pioro

Ron Czerwien

Ron Czerwien

Ron Czerwien was born and raised in Chicago. He graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a BA in English. After working for a large property & casualty insurance company for nearly 20 years, he opened a small used book store in Madison, WI. In 1993 he purchased Avol’s Bookstore in Madison. For many years Ron hosted poetry readings and open mics at his store and after it closed, in 2012, at different venues in Madison. Ron’s poems have appeared online and in a number of print journals. He is the author of the chapbook, “A Ragged Tear Down The Middle Of Our Flag,” published in 2017 by locofo chaps, an imprint of Moria Books. These days he continues to sell used and out-of-print books on the internet under the name Avol’s Books LLC. You can visit the website at www.avolsbooks.com. In his free time Ron creates collages that combine old advertising images and appropriated text to amuse his friends. Some of these can be seen on his Instagram account @czerwienron. Find out more about him at wfop.org/ron-czerwien.


Lake Mendota wrinkles like a brow.
Giant Hyssop, the tip of summer’s blue flame,
Extinguishes in a pinch of chill air.
Yellow highlights, and a single sail underscores,
The opposite shore.

This is how the Book of Decrease begins,
A brief dedication, endless acknowledgments.
This is how the month of my birth begins,
A perennial bowing toward shadow.

A squirrel in his winter coat,
Both of us touched by gray,
Goes about making ready in the evening light.
There’s something buried beneath this cottonwood
We’ll both get back to.

Listen to the poem here


Talking to Owls

A great horned owl
I mimic from the porch
ignores me. Grandfather
speaks Polish to my father
like water rushing in my ears.
Only the brief orange glow
                of cigar tobacco
lights each face, two moons
glimpsed through smoke,
their whispers float
down the Menominee.
Hushed by my father,
I curl like a mouse
beneath his dark wing

Listen to the poem here

Because You are an Expert in Such Matters

You were a failure as a close-up magician.
You could make the coins and the eggs

vanish, but could never make them reappear.
The flesh on your hands flows like quicksand.

So you pretend to be an invalid who must
be fed and dressed by others who come

to resent your neediness. One by one they
abandon you and are never seen again.

Listen to the poem here