Issue 9

Autumn 2013


The Geese in Logic

   1  Geese             
Innocence, the tender                        
                  of white
clouds our god sends us, rolling
east, gathering against
the planet’s turn, to soften

and distract us –
hillsides, crossing fields,
answering iron,
a body’s
model of possession.

Between keeping us
and losing us,
between us –      
                       it is He
who grants
and withholds,
and doesn’t.
What sticky innocence falls
for this
and starry-eyed, keeps choosing it?
I hear the calls
                 of His most
singular, chipped flint
of straight
                  skim close to the earth.

They streak
from His left hand
as by the force of His own
                 to be received
by the right.

   2  Residents
What is it He wants?
pulling us
away from the motherly forgone
conclusion –
and breaking our rough
pioneering hearts

the youngest stumbling along behind,
gripping her memory
of before.

    3  Rock
Because we know the Valley
can’t be seen
as green in May
fruitful in autumn

without His discipline,
we strain to please Him.

Stretching our backs,
we inhale the monopoly                        
before us,
                 the wholesome view
that sweeps the stars with winter
coming –
                 the mountains,
granite blue, suggestive
of harvest, alfalfa baled, honey – darker
than any we’ve ever known,

and so sweet,
it’ll burn the hair off
any latency
of a grief
                sitting alone
on a field rock.

   4  Pyramid Point
Sometimes flight, sometimes twilight. 
They broker the changes:

ponderosas bathing in sunset,
plating the river

persimmon then dark
getting darker, maternal

as the back of her coat
turning away, receding.
Only God is permanent.

It is His will
that guides us
from the top needle of Pyramid Point

where light focuses the end
of our long valley in the mirroring
white of its glacier.

   5  High Water
How could she?
I stare at the river,
weakened by sorrow: 

damn memory,
                         poor secondary
sadness of an after-thought.

I’m told, move fast enough             
you’ll forget. 
I stall among the stones
on the beach. 
                       A child is still a ghost
too dumb-struck

to fasten to the thrill of the river,
its fogs clearing by noon.

     6  Photograph
The afternoon sun shines low
on the old ponderosas.
I pull over to park by the river.  

But perhaps – He won’t notice  
if I make this once
of the slippery water, pumpkin           
       a postponement.

The apposite and fitting and emptying
under the trees and projection – a freeze,
once –
            everything and all
my heart,
as much as it can hold.



Ann Douglas