To keep you entertained until I post my comments on Openly Straight (hopefully tomorrow) some poems by Robert Hedin from his collection "County O."
--for William Pitt Root
Owls glide off the thin
Wrists of the night,
And using snow for their feathers
Drift down on either side
Of the wind.
I spot them
As I camp along the ridge,
Glistening over the streambeds
Their eyes small rooms
Lit by stone lamps.
This man is a lover
Of canyon walls.
The first to read by moon alone.
During the day
He lives away from the sun,
Prone in the cool dirt
Revising that one long last narrative line
On sheets of mica.
Now is the time
He chooses his closest friends:
A piece of jagged rock,
A cricket who's run out of songs.
He makes his way to a precipice
The stones for scratches
Other than his own.
And as the moon curls over the rim
He recites his work
Then listens as the canyon reads back
Again and again.
And then he claps
And the whole canyon applauds.
At the end of the open road we come to ourselves
All right, Louis
We're here at the end of the open road,
At the end of our ellipsis.
A wind and slight drizzle hide
Any other footprints.
They curl the road
Around our feet,
Sweeping it back into itself.
Louis, in the darkness we think
We see trees, giant sequoias
That break around an open marsh,
And are compelled to give them green,
To give them sway,
A hard mossy bark,
Rain dripping from their leaves.
Listen. A bullfrog's call.
Smell the wet calm in the air.
We wait for the moon,
For the song of the white bird
At this speed our origins are groundless.
We are nearing the eve of a great festival,
The festival of wind.
Already you can see this road weakening.
Soon it will breathe
And lift away to dry its feathers in the air.
On both sides the fields of rapeseed and sunflowers
Are revolting against their rows.
Soon they will scatter wildly like pheasants.
Now is the time, my friend, to test our souls.
We must let them forage for themselves,
But first--unbuckle your skin.
Out here, in the darkness
Between two shimmering cities,
We have, perhaps for the last time, chance
Neither to be shut nor open, but to let
Our souls speak and carry our bodies like capes.
That last one reminds me a Khalil Gibran for some reason. I think Owls is simply amazing and the type of thing most people wish they could write with they say they want to start writing poetry. There is some heavy word repetition and imagery as well but for the most part I've really enjoyed this collection.