Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Landscape, with a Cricket's Chirr (Poem)

A fairly recent addition to my Browns and Rusts series. Feedback absolutely welcome.


Landscape, with a Cricket's Chirr

Beneath the ramble and catch
of tumbleweed: the lull of horizon
delicious with distance and elegy,

dead-ends and blue highways hoarse
with the whisper of wind, dust,
wood, bone, memory—the grist

of solitude stirred up
the morning you woke determined
to pluck the sun from God's thigh

as he passed, full-stride,
over this side of town. That's
how Jacob got new-named
, you say

when the story comes up with friends—
and strangers, for that matter.
Like when you were painting

plein air roadscapes outside Redmond
and you used it to ply conversation
with the breeze as she watched you

seduce landscape from ripples of soul
stirred by her sigh. Yes, you say,
that's how Jacob got new-named.

Nevermind it was his hip flicked
out of joint when the angel
stopped wrestling fair, wrested God

from Israel's shank. Nevermind
your layover in Peniel via Genesis
left sand in the visions you put on

and off like shoes at Mnemosyne's
fire ring. Nevermind that won't earn you
a cross-reference from “Jacob (see

Israel)” in God's Almanac
of New Names: From Michael (see
Adam) to the Present
. Nevermind

God hasn't appended his reputation
to your presence on these roads
supple as a cricket's chirr

from the cleft between landscape
and soul, soul and skin, skin
and the palette you've charted

like desire’s ramble and catch
down the back roads and canyons
of memory.

(After a series of roadscapes by J. Kirk Richards)


This is part of One Shot Wednesday, a communal writing event sponsored by One Stop Poetry.