Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sigman Byrd

Sigman Byrd

Diorama Against the End of History

On certain hot summer nights,
you can hear in the simmering
nets of leaves on maple trees
Immanuel Kant wind his pocket watch

or, if you listen carefully,
Charles Darwin tap his cane,
wondering perhaps
if this conspicuous season is

a major or minor outing.
Other nights the wind gets personal.
Branches snap, gusts of black rain pound
like a hurt so old and hallowed

you don’t remember where
it came from. What can you do
but sit on the porch and take
it all in? And what a view:

the scissor-cut of lightning,
a little boy soaked and running
for cover. The shattered twigs
and winged seeds of the past,

everything that mattered once,
that you tried to let go of,
still flying through the dark
forest of your thoughts.

*****

Here, Now

It happens
at the dim sum restaurant.
A waitress pulls up
with her cart of steaming
pork dumplings.

Char siu bao, my wife tells me.
Fluffy, snowy white buns
filled with Cantonese
barbeque. Mmm, I say,
nodding, as if all circuitous

paths led to this moment.
Thoughts drop away,
stillness
floods the synapses.
One could say,

I pay attention.
But those are just words.
Here, now, there is no I.
A plate of aromatic full moons
slides on the table.

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