April 08, 2008


Random messages float in the air
like dogs making slurping noises
waiting for their masters
and we strain to hear
Some smell like bothered skunks and
we avoid them, close our car windows

A woodpecker calls to us from his rotten tree
The bullfrog has plenty to say
The poky donkey makes us pull him along
Old people take notes to remember and
repeat questions over and over
Who finds these poems and writes them down?

Or over there
as the Great Blue Heron takes flight
from one tree to the next
warning the woman in the canoe
of a coming message
she would have to snatch from the sky

Perfectly formed, like his wings
spread in a whoosh, flying soundlessly
the poem is looking for its landing place
under that turtle's furtive head
darting back into the water
What should be said?

Here or there or anywhere?
A small impression formed from dew
on early morning grass, a plop the cat left
a hundred different insects
the fox on the hill
or maybe just the thought of you

A rumbling starting in my head
a trembling hand
a motion to retrieve this song
before the sound is lost
an excited jitter, a flutter of joy
as the mind takes hold

Of what can't be held or
A spider's work is easier to keep
her threads more taut
than this fleeting moment
that can't be found in a photograph

But can be seen in invisible ink
or in the pounding rain
You cannot hesitate or it is lost
It has no cost but fuels my heart
An endless source that disappears
and comes again with simple thought

—Alice Pero
from Thawed Stars (SunInk Pubs 1999)

Posted by dwaber at April 8, 2008 04:26 PM