Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Article excerpt

Granaries as long

and winding as

the shores from

which we look

at the lit ocean, behind

us the fertile land, rivers

coming to this sea, silt

behind us thousands

of years

the vertebrae compressed

the spine bending

forward forever

behind us

offerings of fire held

in falcons with outstretched

wings, built brick by brick·

flight

abandoned, vanished

in unpredictable encounters

before us rusted barges

the daily fragrance

of spices in oil

a fatigued infinity of sea and sky

what can I

go toward?

remote acts

fires kindled on

empty clearings, sloping

toward the east

chanted word

vigilant thought

dispersed

astral distance wedged

in the spinal cord

behind us a broad land grown

narrow

at its very end

Alluvial broadness

bearing great river plains

spreading in the slow

thoughts of animals

that graze converging

in the perfect speed

of the predator's

chase beginning at

each instant

this ancient of days

at every moment

the universe at stake

broadness flooding plains

the river's wide mouth

repeating what is always

unprecedented

* A reference to the ancient Indian agnicayana ceremony in which bricks were used to build a huge falcon on the ground. …

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