This was that earth

       of which we had heard

              carved out of Chaos and Old Night

The virgin forest of Massachusetts long since cut down

Henry David Thoreau    tried to climb

to the top of    Mount Katahdin in Maine

Lost in fog    in upper crags

defeated by the upper cliffs

he fell to his knees

Rejoicing    rocks and trees,  wind on our cheeks!

       this solid earth!    the actual world!    the common sense!


He saw all    all in the Developer’s Eye

       tear down    build    build a Tower High

              set fire to the Chaos of Old Night

He saw the serpent

       tail    coiled round it’s own throat

He saw them stripping

       Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine

              Basin and Range in Nevada

Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado

       Grand Canyon-Parashunt in Arizona

              Craters of the Moon in Idaho

Bending the arms of Giant Sequoia in California

       Arches and Canyonlands in Utah

              Grand Staircase-Escalante in southern Utah

See    Henry David Thoreau

       still climbing Mount Katahdin

              lost in fog

Still on his knees in the upper cliffs

       calling out

            where is that Earth

Of which we had heard

       carved out of Chaos

            and Old Night


  • Bernard Block was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and attended Cornell University and Brooklyn College. He hitch-hiked to California in 1965 and lived in the Haight-Ashbury through 1967 where he gave poetry readings at the I and Thou Coffee Shop, North Beach coffee houses and Golden Gate Park. He returned to NYC and studied with the poet Colette Inez in the mid '70's. He earned his living as a caseworker with the Bureau of Child Welfare in New York City (he is now retired). Bernard has read at all the major spoken-word venues in NYC. He has presented his poetry in venues in Philadelphia, Columbia, SC and Asheville, NC. In August, 2014 he was invited to feature in Laugharne, South Wales in celebration of the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth. Bernard curates and hosts the Series “From Whitman to Ginsberg” at Cornelia St. Café. There have been 21 editions of this Series; the most recent was presented on September 28, 2018. All 21 editions were videotaped and can be accessed on his YouTube Channel. He has had 38 poems published in the prestigious European on-line literary journal Levure Littéraire #8, #9 and #12 (Editors: Rodica Draghincescu; Erika Dagnino). Five of Bernard's poems appear in the French/English literary journal Recours au Poème (Editor: Marilyne Bertoncini) with French translation by Elizabeth Brunazzi. In an article in this journal regarding the NYC poetry scene, Ms. Brunazzi devotes a significant discussion to Bernard's poetry and his organizing role on that scene. Bernard Block’s book of poetry "Am I My Brother’s Keeper?" has been released by Dark Light Publishing. This is a bilingual edition, English/Spanish, with evocative translations by the eminent Mexican poet, Roberto Mendoza Ayala. It is available on Amazon and from the author: [email protected]