the fall almost nobody sees :: david budbill

Everybody’s gone away.
They think there’s nothing left to see.
The garish colors’ flashy show is over.
Now those of us who stay
hunker down in sweet silence,
blessed emptiness among

red-orange shadblow
purple-red blueberry
copper-brown beech
gold tamarack, a few
remaining pale yellow
popple leaves,
sedge and fern in shades
from beige to darkening red
to brown to almost black,
and all this in front of, below,
among blue-green spruce and fir
and white pine,

all of it under gray skies,
chill air, all of us waiting
in the somber dank and rain,
waiting here in quiet, chill
November,
waiting for the snow.

the professor :: joshua mehigan

I get there early and I find a chair.
I squeeze my plastic cup of wine. I nod.
I maladroitly eat a pretzel rod
and second an opinion I don’t share.
I think: whatever else I am, I’m there.
Afterwards, I escape across the quad
into fresh air, alone again, thank god.
Nobody cares. They’re quite right not to care.

I can’t go home. Even my family
is thoroughly contemptuous of me.
I look bad. I’m exactly how I look.
These days I never read, but no one does,
and, anyhow, I proved how smart I was.
Everything I know is from a book.

the mystery of meteors :: eleanor lerman

I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager park
Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds
Two days in a row I have not seen the meteors
though the radio news says they are overhead
Leonid’s brimstones are barred by clouds; I cannot read
the signs in heaven, I cannot see night rendered into fire

And yet I do believe a net of glitter is above me
You would not think I still knew these things:
I get on the train, I buy the food, I sweep, discuss,
consider gloves or boots, and in the summer,
open windows, find beads to string with pearls
You would not think that I had survived
anything but the life you see me living now

In the darkness, the dog stops and sniffs the air
She has been alone, she has known danger,
and so now she watches for it always
and I agree, with the conviction of my mistakes.
But in the second part of my life, slowly, slowly,
I begin to counsel bravery. Slowly, slowly,
I begin to feel the planets turning, and I am turning
toward the crackling shower of their sparks

These are the mysteries I could not approach when I was younger:
the boulevards, the meteors, the deep desires that split the sky
Walking down the paths of the cold park
I remember myself, the one who can wait out anything
So I caution the dog to go silently, to bear with me
the burden of knowing what spins on and on above our heads

For this is our reward:Come Armageddon, come fire or flood,
come love, not love, millennia of portents–
there is a future in which the dog and I are laughing
Born into it, the mystery, I know we will be saved

field note :: eric pankey

An arctic, oblique light—
Grave, earthward—
Roughs in a snowfield’s scoured basin,

A curved pine-flecked horizon,
As if onto a province
The door of an Advent calendar

Opened—parenthetical
Whispered as an aside,
Tallies and marginalia

Erased, yet readable still
In the sleet-lacquered gullies
And scored rock,

A province severed
From the present,
Marooned in the tectonic

Slippage, in the stress
Fractures of the mythic.

at the galleria shopping mall :: tony hoagland

Just past the bin of pastel baby socks and underwear,
there are some 49-dollar Chinese-made TVs;

one of them singing news about a far-off war,
one comparing the breast size of an actress from Hollywood

to the breast size of an actress from Bollywood.
And here is my niece Lucinda,

who is nine and a true daughter of Texas,
who has developed the flounce of a pedigreed blonde

and declares that her favorite sport is shopping.
Today is the day she embarks upon her journey,

swinging a credit card like a scythe
through the meadows of golden merchandise.

Today is the day she stops looking at faces,
and starts assessing the labels of purses;

So let it begin. Let her be dipped in the dazzling bounty
and raised and wrung out again and again.

And let us watch.
As the gods in olden stories

turned mortals into laurel trees and crows
               to teach them some kind of lesson,

so we were turned into Americans
to learn something about loneliness.

the magic kingdom :: kathleen graber

This morning, I found on a slip of paper tucked into a book
a list of questions I’d written down years ago to ask the doctor.
What if it has spread? Is it possible I’m crazy? I’ve just returned
from Florida, from visiting my mother’s last sister, who is eighty
& doing fine. At the airport, my flight grounded by a storm,
I bought a magazine, which fell open to a photograph
of three roseate spoonbills tossing down their elegant shadows
on a chartreuse field of fertilizer-production waste.
Two little girls emptied their Ziplocs of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish
onto the carpet & picked them up, one by one, with great delicacy,
before popping them into their mouths. Their mother, outside
smoking, kept an eye on them through the glass. After my cousin died,
my father died & then my brother. Next, my father’s older brother
& his wife. And, finally, after my mother died, I expected
to die myself. And because this happened very quickly
& because these were, really, almost all the people I knew,
I spent each day smashing dishes with one of my uncle’s hammers
& gluing them back together in new ways. It was strange work
& dangerous, even though I tried to protect myself—
wearing a quilted bathrobe & goggles & leather work gloves
& opening all the windows, even in snow, against the vapors
of the industrial adhesives. Most days now I get up late
& brew coffee & the smell rises from the old enamel pot
I’ve had to balance under the dark drip ever since the carafe
that came with the machine shattered in the dishwasher last month.

One morning I found a lump in my breast & my vision narrowed
to a small dot & I began to sweat. My legs & arms felt weak,
& my heart thrashed behind its bars. We were not written
to be safe. In the old tales, the woodcutter’s daughter’s path
takes her, each time, through the dark forest. There are new words
for all of this: a shot of panic becomes the rustle of glucocorticoid
signalling the sympathetic nervous system into a response
regulated by the sensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
And, as I go along, these freshly minted charms clatter together
in the tender doeskin of the throat as though the larynx
were nothing if not a sack of amulets tied with a cord & worn
around the neck. But I tell you I sat on the bathroom floor for hours,
trembling. And I can tell you this because the lump was just a lump
& some days now I don’t even dread the end although I know
it will arrive. The garage is filled with buckets of broken china.
The girls chased each other & waved their arms, casting spells,
the trim of their matching gingham dresses the electric pink
of the birds’ wings. They turned each other into princesses
& super-girls & then they pretended to change back.
Oh, no. You forgot to say forever—they took turns repeating
with dramatic dismay, melting into puddles of themselves,
their sandals & sunburned knees vanishing beneath their hems.

the pear :: jane hirshfield

November. One pear
sways on the tree past leaves, past reason.
In the nursing home, my friend has fallen.
Chased, he said, from the freckled woods
by angry Thoreau, Coleridge, and Beaumarchais.
Delusion too, it seems, can be well read.
He is courteous, well-spoken even in dread.
The old fineness in him hangs on
for dear life. “My mind now?
A small ship under the wake of a large.
They force you to walk on your heels here,
the angles matter. Four or five degrees,
and you’re lost.” Life is dear to him yet,
though he believes it his own fault he grieves,
his own fault his old friends have turned against him
like crows against an injured of their kind.
There is no kindness here, no flint of mercy.
Descend, descend,
some voice must urge, inside the pear stem.
The argument goes on, he cannot outrun it.
Dawnlight to dawnlight, I look: it is still there.

a measuring worm :: richard wilbur

This yellow striped green
Caterpillar, climbing up
The steep window screen,

Constantly (for lack
Of a full set of legs) keeps
Humping up his back.

It’s as if he sent
By a sort of semaphore
Dark omegas meant

To warn of Last Things.
Although he doesn’t know it,
He will soon have wings,

And I, too, don’t know
Toward what undreamt condition
Inch by inch I go.

thanks :: w. s. merwin

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

thread :: dan chiasson

I lack the rigor of a lightning bolt,
the weight of an anchor. I am
frayed where it would be highly useful—
and this I feel perpetually—to make a point.

I think if I can concentrate I might turn sharp.
Only, I don’t know how to concentrate—
I know only the look of someone concentrating,
indistinguishable from nearsightedness.

It is hard for you to be near me,
my silly intensity shuffling
all the insignia of interiority.
Knowing me never made anyone a needle.

why i was sent to boarding school :: geraldine connolly

to lengthen my hemlines and straighten
my morals

because I was difficult

because my parents were tired

to lock me in chastity’s cupboard

to Latinize me, teach me manners,
give me a good solid dose of fear

to place over my fact the mask
of stoic cheerfulness

to take away my swagger
tame my wild hair and rebellious tongue

because that’s where the doctors
sent their daughters

because the nuns would know what to do
with a girl like me
because they would do their best
to pour me into the mold
with china limbs and lace collars
and because they had their fingers crossed
that I would come out nice
like a floral centerpiece you could
put right into the center
of your dinner party, gleaming

as heads of cut flowers
bobbed there, grateful, arranged,
blinking and nodding with grace
saying yes, yes, turn me
and they would turn me,
from what I was
into what they wanted

not the wolf girl
not soaring beast with smoking hair
but a tame Hereford
amiable, smooth child they could love
with no thoughts that were devil-born
a flat good prize of a girl

and there where I looked
in a morning mirror
I would encounter myself
calm, bovine, accepting

beloved of Mother Superior
cherished of God the Father.

haunted :: naomi shihab nye

We are looking for your laugh.
Trying to find the path back to it
between drooping trees.
Listening for your rustle
under bamboo,
brush of fig leaves,
feeling your step
on the porch,
natty lantana blossom
poked into your buttonhole.
We see your raised face
at both sides of a day.
How was it, you lived around
the edge of everything we did,
seasons of ailing & growing,
mountains of laundry & mail?
I am looking for you first & last
in the dark places,
when I turn my face away
from headlines at dawn,
dropping the rolled news to the floor.
Your rumble of calm
poured into me.
There was the saving grace
of care, from day one, the watching
and being watched
from every corner of the yard.

marrying the hangman :: margaret atwood

She has been condemned to death by hanging. A man
may escape this death by becoming the hangman, a
woman by marrying the hangman. But at the present
time there is no hangman; thus there is no escape.
There is only a death, indefinitely postponed. This is
not fantasy, it is history.

*

To live in prison is to live without mirrors. To live
without mirrors is to live without the self. She is
living selflessly, she finds a hole in the stone wall and
on the other side of the wall, a voice. The voice
comes through darkness and has no face. This voice
becomes her mirror.

*

In order to avoid her death, her particular death, with
wrung neck and swollen tongue, she must marry the
hangman. But there is no hangman, first she must
create him, she must persuade this man at the end of
the voice, this voice she has never seen and which has
never seen her, this darkness, she must persuade him
to renounce his face, exchange it for the impersonal
mask of death, of official death which has eyes but
no mouth, this mask of a dark leper. She must
transform his hands so they will be willing to twist
the rope around throats that have been singled out
as hers was, throats other than hers. She must marry
the hangman or no one, but that is not so bad. Who
else is there to marry?

*

You wonder about her crime. She was condemned
to death for stealing clothes from her employer, from
the wife of her employer. She wished to make herself
more beautiful. This desire in servants was not legal.

*

She uses her voice like a hand, her voice reaches
through the wall, stroking and touching. What could
she possibly have said that would have convinced him?
He was not condemned to death, freedom awaited
him. What was the temptation, the one that worked?
Perhaps he wanted to live with a woman whose life
he had saved, who had seen down into the earth but
had nevertheless followed him back up to life. It was
his only chance to be a hero, to one person at least,
for if he became the hangman the others would
despise him. He was in prison for wounding another
man, on one finger of the right hand, with a sword.
This too is history.

*

My friends, who are both women, tell me their stories,
which cannot be believed and which are true. They
are horror stories and they have not happened to me,
they have not yet happened to me, they have
happened to me but we are detached, we watch our
unbelief with horror. Such things cannot happen to
us, it is afternoon and these things do not happen in
the afternoon. The trouble was, she said, I didn’t
have time to put my glasses on and without them I’m
blind as a bat, I couldn’t even see who it was. These
things happen and we sit at a table and tell stories
about them so we can finally believe. This is not
fantasy, it is history, there is more than one hangman
and because of this some of them are unemployed.

*

He said: the end of walls, the end of ropes, the opening
of doors, a field, the wind, a house, the sun, a table,
an apple.

She said: nipple, arms, lips, wine, belly, hair, bread,
thighs, eyes, eyes.

They both kept their promises.

*

The hangman is not such a bad fellow. Afterwards he
goes to the refrigerator and cleans up the leftovers,
though he does not wipe up what he accidentally
spills. He wants only the simple things: a chair,
someone to pull off his shoes, someone to watch him
while he talks, with admiration and fear, gratitude if
possible, someone in whom to plunge himself for rest
and renewal. These things can best be had by marrying
a woman who has been condemned to death by other
men for wishing to be beautiful. There is a wide
choice.

*

Everyone said he was a fool.
Everyone said she was a clever woman.
They used the word ensnare.

*

What did they say the first time they were alone
together in the same room? What did he say when
she had removed her veil and he could see that she
was not a voice but a body and therefore finite?
What did she say when she discovered that she had
left one locked room for another? They talked of
love, naturally, though that did not keep them
busy forever.

*

The fact is there are no stories I can tell my friends
that will make them feel better. History cannot be
erased, although we can soothe ourselves by
speculating about it. At that time there were no
female hangmen. Perhaps there have never been any,
and thus no man could save his life by marriage.
Though a woman could, according to the law.

*

He said: foot, boot, order, city, fist, roads, time,
knife.

She said: water, night, willow, rope hair, earth belly,
cave, meat, shroud, open, blood.

They both kept their promises.

NOTES: Jean Cololère, a drummer in the colonial troops at Québec, was imprisoned for duelling in 1751. In the cell next to his was Françoise Laurent, who had been sentenced to hang for stealing. Except for letters of pardon, the only way at the time for someone under sentence of death to escape hanging was, for a man, to become a hangman, or, for a woman, to marry one. Françoise persuaded Cololère to apply for the vacant (and undesirable) post of executioner, and also to marry her.

—Condensed from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Volume III, 1741-1770

reconsidering the seven :: peter pereira

Deadly Sins? Please — let’s replace Pride
with Modesty, especially when it’s false.

And thank goodness for Lust, without it
I wouldn’t be here. Would you?

Envy, Greed — why not? If they lead us
to better ourselves, to Ambition.

And Gluttony, like a healthy belch, is a guest’s
best response to being served a good meal.

I’ll take Sloth over those busybodies
who can’t sit still, watch a sunset

without yammering, or snapping a picture.
Now that makes me Wrathful.

rain :: claribel alegría

translated by margaret s. peden

As the falling rain
trickles among the stones
memories come bubbling out.
It’s as if the rain
had pierced my temples.
Streaming
streaming chaotically
come memories:
the reedy voice
of the servant
telling me tales
of ghosts.
They sat beside me
the ghosts
and the bed creaked
that purple-dark afternoon
when I learned you were leaving forever,
a gleaming pebble
from constant rubbing
becomes a comet.
Rain is falling
falling
and memories keep flooding by
they show me a senseless
world
a voracious
world–abyss
ambush
whirlwind
spur
but I keep loving it
because I do
because of my five senses
because of my amazement
because every morning,
because forever, I have loved it
without knowing why.

places i have heard the ocean :: faith shearin

In a cat’s throat, in a shell I hold
to my ear — though I’m told
this is the sound of my own
blood. I have heard the ocean
in the city: cars against
the beach of our street. Or in
the subway, waiting for a train
that carries me like a current.
In my bed: place of high and low
tide or in my daughter’s skates,
rolling over the sidewalk.
Ocean in the trees when they
fill their heads with wind.
Ocean in the rise and fall:
lungs of everyone I love.

final performance :: cynthia cruz

I crawl along the wet floor
Of my mother’s childhood,

A serpent, or a long-buried secret,
In my mother’s bisque
Chiffon gown with small stars

Stitched in silver, a crown
Of tinsel pinned into the dark
Blonde knots and dreads of my hair.

I follow a sequin thread of dead
Things, stop when the moon clocks out,
Polish my long nails in the sun.

obedience, or the lying tale :: jennifer chang

I will do everything you tell me, Mother.
I will charm three gold hairs
from the demon’s head.
I will choke the mouse that gnaws
an apple tree’s roots and keep its skin
for a glove. To the wolf, I will be
pretty and kind, and curtsy
his crossing of my path.

The forest, vocal
even in its somber tread, rages.
A slope ends in a pit of foxes
drunk on rotten brambles of berries,
and the raccoons ransack
a rabbit’s unmasked hole.
What do they find but a winter’s heap
of droppings? A stolen nest, the cracked shell

of another creature’s child.
I imagine this is the rabbit way,
and I will not stray, Mother,
into the forest’s thick,
where the trees meet the dark,
though I have known misgivings
of light as a hot hand that flickers
against my neck. The path ends

at a river I must cross. I will wait
for the ferryman
to motion me through. Into the waves,
he etches with his oar
a new story: a silent girl runs away,
a silent girl is never safe.
I will take his oar in my hand. I will learn
the boat’s rocking and bring myself back

and forth. To be good
is the hurricane of caution.
I will know indecision’s rowing,
the water I lap into my lap
as he shakes his withered head.
Behind me is the forest. Before me
the field, a loose run of grass. I stay
in the river, Mother, I study escape.

read about the process

happiness :: raymond carver

So early it’s still almost dark out.
I’m near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren’t saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take
each other’s arm.
It’s early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn’t enter into this.
Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.

my secret flag :: rachel loden

What a giant I must seem to them, an exhausted giant who dozes above her sewing.

Asleep in mid-stitch, sorting the day’s haul of cinders, rubies, griefs—

They were laughing and carrying on, their tiny silver needles flying in and out, tiny silver thimbles on their fingers.

It’s no use of course, keeping secrets from them, when chattering is almost their religion.

Some held corners of the flag like an enormous quilt, and some danced on little shelves above the workshop.

They were so merrie that I fell asleep again.

In the morning my beautiful flag was finished, every stitch in place and every seam.

So now I raise it—slowly, underneath a secret sky.

Near the door to the half-daft and the cradle of kleptocracy.

Where it rips and shivers, rips and shivers once more

And makes me furiously glad, and fills me up with serious pleasure.

the grain of sound :: robert morgan

A banjo maker in the mountains,
when looking out for wood to carve
an instrument, will walk among
the trees and knock on trunks. He’ll hit
the bark and listen for a note.
A hickory makes the brightest sound;
the poplar has a mellow ease.
But only straightest grain will keep
the purity of tone, the sought-
for depth that makes the licks sparkle.
A banjo has a shining shiver.
Its twangs will glitter like the light
on splashing water, even though
its face is just a drum of hide
of cow, or cat, or even skunk.
The hide will magnify the note,
the sad of honest pain, the chill
blood-song, lament, confession, haunt,
as tree will sing again from root
and vein and sap and twig in wind
and cat will moan as hand plucks nerve,
picks bone and skin and gut and pricks
the heart as blood will answer blood
and love begins to knock along the grain.

evening song :: sherwood anderson

My song will rest while I rest. I struggle along. I’ll get back to the corn and
      the open fields. Don’t fret, love, I’ll come out all right.

Back of Chicago the open fields. Were you ever there—trains coming toward
      you out of the West—streaks of light on the long gray plains? Many a
      song—aching to sing.

I’ve got a gray and ragged brother in my breast—that’s a fact. Back of
      Chicago the open fields—long trains go west too—in the silence. Don’t
      fret, love. I’ll come out all right.

and you thought you were the only one :: mark bibbins

Someone waits at my door. Because he is
      dead he has time but I have my secrets–

      this is what separates us from the dead.
See, I could order take-out or climb down

the fire escape, so it’s not as though he
      is keeping me from anything I need.

      While this may sound like something I made up,
it is not; I have forgotten how to

lie, despite all my capable teachers.
      Lies are, in this way, I think, like music

      and all is the same without them as with.
The fluid sky retains regret, then bursts.

He is still there, standing in the hall, insisting
      he is someone I once knew and wanted,

      come laden with gifts he cannot return.
If I open the door he’ll flash and fade

like heat lightning behind a bank of clouds
      one summer night at the edge of the world.

ryōkan :: first days of spring — the sky

First days of spring — the sky
is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.
Everything’s turning green.
Carrying my monk’s bowl, I walk to the village
to beg for my daily meal.
The children spot me at the temple gate
and happily crowd around,
dragging at my arms till I stop.
I put my bowl on a white rock,
hang my bag on a branch.
First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,
then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:
I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I sing.
Time is forgotten, the hours fly.
People passing by point at me and laugh:
“Why are you acting like such a fool?”
I nod my head and don’t answer.
I could say something, but why?
Do you want to know what’s in my heart?
From the beginning of time: just this! just this!

translated by Stephen Mitchell
from The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry

children of our era :: wislawa szymborska

translated by joanna trzeciak

We are children of our era;
our era is political.

All affairs, day and night,
yours, ours, theirs,
are political affairs.

Like it or not,
your genes have a political past,
your skin a political cast,
your eyes a political aspect.

What you say has a resonance;
what you are silent about is telling.
Either way, it’s political.

Even when you head for the hills
you’re taking political steps
on political ground.

Even apolitical poems are political,
and above us shines the moon,
by now no longer lunar.
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Question? What question? Dear, here’s a suggestion:
a political question.

You don’t even have to be a human being
to gain political significance.
Crude oil will do,
or concentrated feed, or any raw material.

Or even a conference table whose shape
was disputed for months:
should we negotiate life and death
at a round table or a square one?

Meanwhile people were dying,
animals perishing,
houses burning,
and fields growing wild,
just as in times most remote
and less political.

trust :: thomas r. smith

It’s like so many other things in life
to which you must say no or yes.
So you take your car to the new mechanic.
Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.

The package left with the disreputable-looking
clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,
the envelope passed by dozens of strangers—
all show up at their intended destinations.

The theft that could have happened doesn’t.
Wind finally gets where it was going
through the snowy trees, and the river, even
when frozen, arrives at the right place.

And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life
is delivered, even though you can’t read the address.

moonlight :: sara teasdale

It will not hurt me when I am old,
      A running tide where moonlight burned
            Will not sting me like silver snakes;
The years will make me sad and cold,
            It is the happy heart that breaks.

The heart asks more than life can give,
      When that is learned, then all is learned;
            The waves break fold on jewelled fold,
But beauty itself is fugitive,
            It will not hurt me when I am old.

and the intrepid anthurium :: pura lópez-colomé

translated by forrest gander

Two bumblebees
extract nectar,
sweet and bitter
from the center
of the rose-colored petals
of a flower which is not a rose.
Sated,
they thud against the picture window
again and again,
fixed on escaping
with their bounty inside them,
into the air behind them,
incognizant that the path to freedom
has been eclipsed,
incognizant
that they are drawn
to an illusion.
With the blood honey
in their guts
already a part of their
rapturous marrow.
And distinct.

definition of the frontiers :: archibald macleish

    First there is the wind but not like the familiar wind but long and without lapses or falling away or surges of air as is usual but rather like the persistent pressure of a river or a running tide.

    This wind is from the other side and has an odor unlike the odor of the winds with us but like time if time had odor and were cold and carried a bitter and sharp taste like rust on the taste of snow or the fragrance of thunder.

    When the air has this taste of time the frontiers are not far from us.

    Then too there are the animals. There are always animals under the small trees. They belong neither to our side nor to theirs but are wild and because they are animals of such kind that wildness is unfamiliar in them as the horse for example or the goat and often sheep and dogs and like creatures their wandering there is strange and even terrifying signaling as it does the violation of custom and the subversion of order.

    There are also the unnatural lovers the distortion of images the penetration of mirrors and the inarticulate meanings of the dreams. The dreams are in turmoil like a squall of birds.

    Finally there is the evasion of those with whom we have come. It is at the frontiers that the companions desert us—that the girl returns to the old country

    that we are alone.

Courtesy of K.W.

otherwise :: jane kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.