Some of the chords in this little 2-finger exercise (for Ravenna Diagram) came from a recent article in the New York Times about the Yulong River in China.
Halcyon late summer day
in the ancient yard.
Soft came the word
from kayak lips... like one stray
Chinese lantern, swinging orange
over weedy greens.
Quiet river scenes –
Yulong threading bamboo (drafty ange
d’or fisherman) between karst hills
& water buffalo –
bull’s-eye, ground zero
for the monsoon spring. God wills
fish from such limestone streams.
The way to Promised Land runs
through your heart, O branded
Everyman. Job’s hook redeems.
A living soul talks back to hieroglyphs
until they come to life.
Osiris in the loosestrife
with French polio – Ravenna stiffs
in sketchy skiffs, rafting a mossy
Giuliana to her sunny
son – sweet honey
from a shack smokehole, in Galilee.
You won’t get it right away.
The flags are thick
with gold encaustic –
targets flip like livid hay
in a tornado eye – the limp
thread hangs from one
thread or another in
a Mandan sundance. Nails crimp
crumpled limbs beneath a cloud
of starlings... when one
raven, crowing, spun
through your aching pupil – proud
oculus of Solomon,
Galla’s ripe acorn
crown of sylvan
horn – an evergreen
Ravenna Pinetop, skipping 88s around
your retina. The iris
in her sheaf of cornea is
larval now – pupa plummets down
octagonal, folded to ground –
Hero in milkweed,
fiddlehead wing, cedar-bound.
The mountain lurks above the trees.
Imago flies to her source.
Monarch wafts a deft Morse
code in air – needles sing breeze.
A message-smudge, still incomplete,
Fisher King... checkmated?
Will fly again lambchild. Beat?
Through bearskin smokehole, near
the North Pole, Glenn
plays baby Bach again –
so grand, these little steps! So dear.