Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Our Preposterous Tribe

Up the roaring sidewalk came a rush of golden leaves
lit from behind by the headlights of the train.
They whirled up above my head, and I thought
you might be coming with them. You might.

Life comes slow to the leaves,
and leaves quick: gold flares and flinches
like finches of leaf, and – barely turned –
the flakes are torn down by the rain again.

we are the last of our
preposterous tribe, and our little knobs of nipples
bob below our ribs. Our ripples of hair
grow in unseemly tufts, unshaven:

our ruffs of red-streaked dye only fluff
the rufous heads of rusted locomotives; bones
poke through our septums like bleached goatees.
Yet we drum, with wrinkled fingers, on

hollow-stomached gourds – we revel in sounds
too low for profane ears to hear: we call to each other
with throbbing wooden throats,
and listen to cliffs for an echo.

In response to this Morning Porch post.


Lucy said...

Love all those finches and flinches and nipples and ripples and other rhymes and echoes weaving in and out. And I so often look at us like that, especially from a distance.

Marly Youmans said...

Gerard Manley Hopkins and his wonderful ear would be quite pleased with "gold flares and flinches / like finches of leaf, and--barely turned--the flakes are torn down by the rain again."

JMartin said...

I'm with Marly: that couplet was a GMH gash gold-vermillion rush.