A right-handed journal,
curled and kempt in its Qs,
rubs me just below the elbow.
It butts against the penning muscle
That irks the digits, that cramps the weaving
pen, knocking into paper. It would be
no wonder, on every odd-numbered page,
if the poems I sew are jaggedly stitched
and care nothing for rhyme.
Why do I bother at all,
even at kind, left-handed pages,
to pump more of art into life?
I think so much of kingfishers,
my addictive play thing in poems rung true,
and of mountains of gladness
and gods of a sort that drank with us,
living or dead.
Silent, on a peak in Darien, they rustle
the tired and build a new hope for the weary,
out of shimmering fears and the whispering
wet of the grass.
What have I done? One-sided, I steal
into dreams they have planted, tossle
the bedsheets of truth that once covered me,
beat fast my heart with the rhythm of rays
from the sun. On appropriated funds
of the possible, I come to my light:
the stark naked shine of the moon.
And nights, when the trees are aroused
with their singing, I capture the folly and
freedom of day.
But what a horrendous discovery I have
made, crimping the sentences, dotting the
dreams! To reveal, in all of my jives
and crookedly fortunate jests, in every opus of language:
It was theirs all along.
“You kingfishers, reel in your fish,
You lovers of song, eat a peach;
And when lovers of you who have written
Come frisky about with a poem,
May the glory remain, in your heart and your song,
Tucked in the pocket of poetry done.”