Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Shadow of its Flight

One last poem, one thick smudge
across the page, one smeared fingerprint,
one more prisoner to be shoved
across the broken ground.

Somewhere a clear green sky rises;
somewhere the rain has stopped.
Somewhere bare feet step on naked wood.

"Tell them," said Jefferson Davis,
long after it was all over,
trying hopelessly to explain, "tell them
I only loved America."

A disillusioned follower, well aware
of the poisonings and absurdities,
the fifty-three Rolls Royces, told me too
that to be in the room with Bagwan Rajneesh
was to be in the presence of someone
greater than a human being.
"I still think that, it's still true," he said,
a mournful apostate, broken at the root.

A swift and skillful bird plays on the wind,
turns, rolls, and with a flourish, lands on the wire:
revealing, this close, the imbecile profile
and depthless eye of a pigeon.

The blue pulse at your temple
is the shadow of its flight.


Jayne said...

Remarkable statement here. Love how you worked Davis into verse. The subtlety of your work is breathtaking.

Dale said...

Well, shucks. Thank you, Jayne!

rbarenblat said...

Oh. Oh, wow. This is gorgeous, Dale.

Kat said...

Love how all the pieces - Jefferson, Rolls Royces, pigeons - put together so well, say it just right.

Pica said...

love this one Dale, what a great finale.

Anne said...

The last 2 lines are just beautiful.

Dale said...

Thanks all! This one surprised me, especially the last two lines. They leaped on to the page, and I started trying to elaborate and make them make sense and fit in. I stopped myself just in time :-)

Deb said...

Superb, Dale. I love the Davis, the Rashneesh, the pigeon, the reference to your monthly efforts.

I particularly love the pigeon, so reviled, and yet so beautiful & graceful.

And a congratulations (or rather a thank you!) on your April. I've enjoyed your poetry. So very much. xo

Dale said...

Likewise, Deb. It's been such a treat having new Deb poems daily!

And yes, pigeons are accomplished aeronauts, weirdly enough. Why they're happy to spend so much time on the ground looking silly, is beyond me.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Great poem, Dale.

Re Rajneesh: more than a human being? Not! Many people in his entourage could add a not-too flattering footnote.

But that doesn't alter the beauty of your poem.