Sunday, December 31, 2006


The Poet's latest, The Filaments, deserves a more attentive second reading. Much is familiar from his earlier books: birds, bees, landscapes precisely captured in the filaments of mood and imagination and context:

Today, to neighbors, I was just
some guy
mowing the lawn. People
have living rooms larger
to run a vacuum over.
And I can't say for sure
if the plum tree is recovered
after years of drought and neglect.


You can tell the birds know
someone is listening
even if we don't know
whether they believe
the sound is understood.

And every time you get too close they stop.

And if they ever stopped for good
a listener may guess
the sound maker at dawn
by the river
is the same bird heard here
every year.

The same birds, lucid and confident,
heard here every year
while traffic speeds or stalls
and the building lights are dulled
in the towering glass down river
and triple-deckers across the street.
"lucid and confident" indeed! Someone is listening.

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