thin :: kay ryan

How anything
is known
is so thin—
a skin of ice
over a pond
only birds might
confidently walk
upon. A bird’s
worth of weight
or one bird-weight
of Wordsworth.

reverse drama :: kay ryan

Lightning, but not bright.
Thunder, but not loud.
Sometimes something
in the sky connects
to something in the ground
in ways we don’t expect
and more or less miss except
through reverse drama:
things were heightened
and now they’re calmer.
The Niagara River (2005)

hailstorm :: kay ryan

Like a storm
of hornets, the
little white planets
layer and relayer
as they whip around
in their high orbits,
getting more and
more dense before
they crash against
our crust. A maelstrom
of ferocious little
fists and punches,
so hard to believe
once it’s past.