My Husband is a Poet: It’s Poetry Month

05Apr10

A Crossing

From them the dust and from them the storm,

and the smoke in the sky, and a rumble in the ground;

and from them the very sky seeming, from afar, parabolic;

from the curve or girth beyond the eye’s reach;

                                                            from/across/& through—

a beautiful level and fertile plain—

with soggy bottoms of slender allium

or nodding onion the size of musket ball,

white, crisp, well-flavored; from the high grass stretching 

                                                            into tomorrow

the welcoming committee assembles & gathers—

each dark visage a massive escarpment

that stares out of bewilderment;

—from their river crossing, and from somewhere

                                                            inside the huff, hieratic ohm—

the beck-and-echo, returning call

of calves mothering-up; from the dark script

of the herd, frequently approaching more nearly

to discover what we are,

 

                                                            with/across/& to

the cataract of time:

this steady, animal regard,

this gaze of theirs, the size and scale of it,

so amassed,

arrests the men, who look them back

                                                            as they must/& do/& will—

from a bookcase, from a window sill.

From Empire Burlesque  by Mark Svenvold

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2 Responses to “My Husband is a Poet: It’s Poetry Month”

  1. 1 Wendy

    Actually, he’s a damn good teacher too. I’ll always remember his advice: “Treat cliches like kryptonite!” He stepped in for two of your classes when when you were off in Morocco researching an article. You two are a hell of a combo. Keep it up!

    • 2 marthamcphee

      Thanks, Wendy, so much. Since you’re so wise and sharp, that’s quite a compliment.


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