a long pull against the heaviness of earth

3:27 PM Posted by James Owens

Poetics in the Season of Migration

After fog, the sun unhitches geese
from the gleaned-over stubble-ground
where they have huddled through the night.

They rise now, clumsy, angling up
to blue, above the planet’s shade,
the mist and morning slurred with calls.

How apologize for poetry?
For how it fails the flock’s long pull
against the heaviness of Earth,

against wind, the mortal shear
of entropy that scatters form?

Their one, blared note sums up a year,

but words falter and trip, waste breath,
lose the smell of dirt or rain,
the wings once more climbing sunlight.

Such a long work, waiting to hear
that hard, scraping honk as song….
No longer clumsy, the geese order

and wheel, squared-off and cutting south,
stars intuited along the way,
written tight into their wedge, and gone.



Marion McCready said...

Love the second picture, the black geometry of the birds against the golden hue. Yes, the sun unhitching them, beautiful. And "the geese order / and wheel" what a great description of image, action and motion packed into those five words!

musicwithinyou said...

:) Sorry couldn't help myself but smile

James Owens said...

Marion: It is an old poem, hoarded and reworked more times than I can tell you. So I am very glad that you like it!

James Owens said...

musicwithinyou: I'm happy to make your smile :-)

Roxana said...

for me, the first picture is amazing, i have come to it many times and still cannot have enough of it :-)

and you won't believe it, but right before reading this poem i had stumbled upon this french one, which has a similar topic (though there are some lines there which are too denotative for my taste, yours is so much subtler :-):

Un oiseau, lorsqu’il va, sur la mer,
Porter mémoire de la terre à la limite de ce jour
De lumière et d’amour, un oiseau…

Comment dire cela sans défaire l’ouvrage
Des yeux, des mains, et de tout le visage,
Et sans briser en nous l’oiseau et le langage…
Comment dire cela sans rougir, et se taire ?

Toute œuvre est étrangère, toute parole absente,
Et le poème rit et me défie de vivre
Ce désir d’un espace où le temps serait nul.
Et c’est don du néant, ce pouvoir de nommer

Un oiseau, lorsqu’il va, sur la mer, comme on respire,
Cet instant qui ne dure que pour mourir, là-bas,
Depuis le commencement du monde jusqu’au dernier naufrage,
Et peut-être plus loin, vers la dernière étoile,
La première parole, ô comment dire cela…

Roger Giroux, L'oiseau

suzi said...

Lovely photos James. Wild Geese.I love the image and call of them.

Banjo52 said...

Nice photos, and I like the poem. I thought it had ended where the photo divides it, and I think I was happy with that, at least after only one reading.

I'll check out your new blog too.

Dave King said...

This poem has a quiet loveliness and some powerful images, particularly the opening one:

After fog, the sun unhitches geese
from the gleaned-over stubble-ground

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

thank ypu for your words on my paint...