On the Nature of Prose Poetry , Colorado Poets Center
In Ohio, they never touched ground, hovered just beyond, their hearts thin as dimes, until their slotted wings vibrated into whirr and whistle. We believed this about hummingbirds: that death stalked their stillness, that to sit or sleep was as foreign to them as to the sharks that hulked beneath our primitive dreams of fish and flotsam. But here the mountain hummingbirds, migrated by star or fireweed, hover momentarily, then spin into each other, territorial, sharp-needled, vanquishing each other from the sugar water I boil each time I come here. And then they sit . . . read more
Everywhere the light
Draws us past stone,
Past the wood shutters the wind flings—
The world carved and delirious
Beyond me, beyond you whom I see
Half listening now
Amidst a concavity of iris,
Of sea swirl, the poppy mad
For such utter destination. read more
Of course I love the names: dog pelt, hooded bone, blistered rocktripe, shadow ruffle. What poet’s soul named them before their Latinate? Who thought to feed the wolf the poisoned one mixed with splintered glass, to tip the killing stone arrow with it, to name it wolf bane?
I meant to write of lichen today, to do the math that separates its Devonian fossil of 400 million years with our Quaternary fossil of 200,000 years, to confess the eight I blindly stepped on, sat on, stood on, this hundred years’ welding of wedded fungus and algae. Unwitting disperser, I have broken from brecciate rock delicate powder, ruffled leaf, hollow tube smaller than the cuttings of my fingernail, released them to the endless wind and never known it. read more
Already the hunters of spar and rut
sag beneath this first weight of snow.
They are lost.
All day I opened the blinds to see it come,
the first storm of our prairied winter
brooding over the wintered peaks
like a thumb bruise.
Snow is clustering in the wallows
of the elk, in the wintering ground.
Night has entered the white paper
of the girdled birch,
and the fine combs of aspen
bend over double, threshers
of August velvet, honers
of the bone’s great rack.
from Blizzard read more