Saturday, August 29, 2015

Behold My Red Eye

Most of the Wood Ducks have moved on. But this guy remembers, 
and sometimes comes and sits on the end of the stair-rail. 
He is a duckling-of-this-year and may even be one of the 13 ducklings
that were the first batch to hatch. You can see how his adult face-markings 
are not quite complete, and he still has some juvenile body-feathers;
but he is getting there! I was very happy to see him today 
and moved very quietly to take his photograph.

Keeping It Together

For a start you use
tea and talk, the day's
first dark headlines
and your dreams go
numb--that looming face
pretending to be a ripe
harvest moon stands still,
then fades to a dot 
like a TV turned off.
Next your delicacy gathers
in the eggs you carry
to the stove--the shells
are so thin these days,
they break into
such small pieces.
You drive over those pieces
to the delights of key,
office, mail and the heady
vertigo buried in
the heart of grammar.
(Oh, be with me now,
muse of the commasplice!)
Such rich incident carries
you to three, though the clock
is so hesitant, pausing so long,
as if holding its breath
before its nervous leap forward.
And finally the omens:
Scrawny birds on that 
skimpy tree out your window,
the exit marked Graceless,
and rain whispering
its million run-on sentences.

Vern Rutsala       (February 5, 1934 – April 2, 2014)

How We Spent Our Time
University of Akron Press, 2006, pages 41-42.
This book is also inscribed 
to the former owner in teensy writing: 
                                                                                                                 All the best, Vern Rutsala

This generation of poets is fast leaving the planet. If you meant 
to write any fan letters, now might be the time. 
I wish I had thanked them more...

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