Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Careless Mice

I've spent the evening with a wonderful book I recently acquired:
The Gift of Tongues; twenty-five years of poetry from Copper Canyon Press, 1996.
I have not even begun to experience everything herein yet,
and will talk more about this treasure-filled book later!
I chose this picture of winter in Michigan several years back
to go with the John Haines poem below.

If the Owl Calls Again

at dusk
from the island in the river,
and it's not too cold,

I'll wait for the moon
to rise,
and then take wing and glide
to meet him.

We will not speak,
but hooded against the frost
soar above
the alder flats, searching
with tawny eyes.

And then we'll sit 
in the shadowy spruce and
pick the bones
of careless mice,

while the long moon drifts
toward Asia
and the river mutters
in its icy bed.

And when morning climbs
the limbs
we'll part without a sound,

fulfilled, floating
homeward as the 
cold world awakens.

John Haines  (1924-2011)
from The Gift of Tongues; 
twenty-five years of poetry from Copper Canyon Press, 1996, page 111.

Pay attention to the form: very short-line clean stanzas in a pattern 3, 4, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3. Examine your own poems for stanza patterns.

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