Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Locomotive

is no bigger than my thumb,
a tree’s straight-grained
fragment milled to a shape
implying dynamics,
but parked on the bookshelf
it doesn't budge an inch,
except as we all do in earth’s
thousand mile per hour spin—

the locomotive’s out of proportion
with the globe’s caravels
sailing two-dimensional seas;
the wall clock above,
with scalloped blossom edge, forms
a sort of compass rose,
& the ballast of books below—
                                             there’s not enough time to

read everything & still set foot on
a sailing ship bound for purple
mists on the horizon between Yachats &
Ise Jingu when the wind blows
from the west in summer filled with
invisible kanji & the steps of
Basho in the snow as he lost himself in
eternity beside sun & moon—

Asian pears in a bowl in the
kitchen; I could fetch one here
but I’m typing instead in syncopation
with the clock, thinking about painting
these walls light green perhaps;
the Anglo-Saxon grammar
on the bottom shelf & the crow
outside the window discuss winter—

beyond the carved

boxwood Guanyin on

the sill green


lean in to listen

Jack Hayes 
© 2017

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure I can think of another poem where the poet talks about the making of the rhythm as they make it! Was it WCW said you can write a poem about anything? I'Ll be looking at bric-a-brac in a new light...


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