broody engraving


As when a song transposes suddenly
into more stringent chords
the charismatic words
Dante-Apollinaire relay

from salty mud-flats of Ravenna
hungry Parisian streets
emerge with copper rivulets
of Mississippi calumet – that gateway

mound out of the bottomland
that mundus in a grove
or Okie Argo alcove
up from rustling bronze riverbend.

A pileated woodpecker
with fiery crest drives
toward dread beehives
of Annie Oakley – checkmates her

bull’s-eye – knocks at the door
of sharpshooter & target
as she drills toward
his dragon-beak of pain & blood, for

leafy harvest-time of bread & wine 
(ripe honey-gold high meed
poured out of night   freed
goldfinch   slipped from nest of twine).

So Thunderbird laced the perimeter
like one ghost dancer over
one ghost kingdom.  Power
flickered from its lightning center


& with spark of recognition
the Life-whirr dove across
an abyss of non-existence
wakening green acorn nation

to restoration of all things
as it was in the beginning
ever shall   beginning
with your soul & mine.  The king’s

a monarch like Melchizedek
alighting on a milkweed
whose electric feed
mauve candelabra Shaker-speak

& lift the everlasting seed
to drift on orange wings
& ange d’or strings
to azure Gates   high watershed

for humble mule-servant   that beggar’s
beggar   slave’s life-saver
huffy Hen’s   broody engraver
Elijah’s raven   bearing messages

like crumbs of hope   for dying prophets
thirsting by the stream
to hear the pure Dream-
Songe   of limpid safety-nets

where rivers stream toward glory
in the salt infinity
one sarabande soul-tree
of beaming suns   their wake of Victory


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