Monday, July 13, 2015

It is evening now . . .

From the ducks in snow time. I have always loved the way this is nearly
a black and white photo, and only when I upped the saturation,
could I see the red bills and a little other color.

Home from Duck Marsh

All day in the rain and sour reek
of the marsh, in the fluttering grass of killdeer,
all day I have been speaking\
in the tongues of duck---squalling in joy
of smartweed, watershield, salt hay,
as the green flash of mallards rode
in the high winds.

It is evening now, it is weariness,
it is the weight of the body deepening 
into pools of rain,
into the clear dark eyes of birds.
Around me the cities are stoking up for
the night, the furnaces singing of death
until the old are stunned with it
and the young, before their banked altars of sound,
hum like wires in the wastes of Kansas.

But it is evening now, it is weariness.
The bittern descends for the last time
and the egret closes its whiteness in the tall grass.
And in this quiet house of rain
I am the last sane man on earth,
sleep settling on my brow
like a great crown.

Peter Everwine

from the meadow; selected and new poems,
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004, page 22.

I found the work of Peter Everwine quite by chance, when I stumbled on one of his translations from the Aztec in an anthology. (He also translates poems from the Hebrew.) And I have found someone who has a rich language and a poetic gift that pleases me so much!

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