Rune of the Finland Woman by Marilyn Hacker

Rune of the Finland Womanby Marilyn Hacker     For Sára Karig       “You are so wise,” the reindeer said, “you can bind the winds of the world in a single strand.” H. C. Andersen, “The Snow Queen” She could bind the world’s winds in a single strand.She could find the world’s words in a singing wind.She could lendContinue reading “Rune of the Finland Woman by Marilyn Hacker”

[London, my beautiful] by F.S. Flint

[London, my beautiful]by F.S. Flint London, my beautiful,it is not the sunsetnor the pale green skyshimmering through the curtainof the silver birch,nor the quietness;it is not the hoppingof birdsupon the lawn,nor the darknessstealing over all thingsthat moves me. But as the moon creeps slowlyover the treetopsamong the stars,I think of herand the glow her passingshedsContinue reading “[London, my beautiful] by F.S. Flint”

California Hills in August by Dana Gioia

California Hills in August by Dana Gioia I can imagine someone who found these fields unbearable, who climbed the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust, cracking the brittle weeds underfoot, wishing a few more trees for shade. An Easterner especially, who would scorn the meagerness of summer, the dry twisted shapes of black elm,Continue reading “California Hills in August by Dana Gioia”

Driving in Oklahoma by Carter Revard

Driving in Oklahoma by Carter Revard On humming rubber along this white concrete, lighthearted between the gravities of source and destination like a man halfway to the moon in this bubble of tuneless whistling at seventy miles an hour from the windvents, over prairie swells rising and falling, over the quick offramp that drops toContinue reading “Driving in Oklahoma by Carter Revard”

Arizona Desert by Charles Tomlinson

Arizona Desert by Charles Tomlinson Eye drinks the dry orange ground, the cowskull bound to it by shade: sun-warped, the layers of flaked and broken bone unclench into petals, into eyelids of limestone: Blind glitter that sees spaces and steppes expand of the purgatories possible to us and impossible. Upended trees in the Hopi’s desertContinue reading “Arizona Desert by Charles Tomlinson”

Psalm Above Santa Fe by John Judson

Psalm Above Santa Fe                         16 March 1987 by John Judson What is it we           come to                     between mountains, long crests tipped white,           dusted on their flanks, while                     light spreads out before us,           pouring in our laps,                     soft as iris tongues, and           the lungs finally                     filled with a freshness unwilled           because unlooked for:                     sparse grass, rocksContinue reading “Psalm Above Santa Fe by John Judson”

Mexico Seen from the Moving Car by Michael McClure

Mexico Seen from the Moving Car by Michael McClure THERE ARE HILLS LIKE SHARKFINS                              and clods of mud. The mind drifts through in the shape of a museum, in the guise of a museum dreaming dead friends: Jim, Tom, Emmet, Bill. —Like billboards their huge faces droop and stretch on the walls, on the wallsContinue reading “Mexico Seen from the Moving Car by Michael McClure”

Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn

Venice, Unaccompaniedby Monica Youn Wakingon the train, I thoughtwe were attacked              by light:chrome-winged birdshatching from the lagoon.              That first daythe buoys were allthat made the harbor              bearable:pennies sewn into a hemline.Later I learned to live in it,              to walkthrough the alien city—a beekeeper’s habit—              with fierce lightclinging to my head and hands.Treated as gently asContinue reading “Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn”

In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan

In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan The way a birthmark on a woman’s face defines rather than mars her beauty, so the skyscrapers— those flowers of technology— reveal the perfection of the garden they surround. Perhaps Eden is buried here in Japan, where an incandescent koi slithers snakelike to the edge of theContinue reading “In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan”

Sunrise, Grand Canyon by John Barton (Arizona)

Sunrise, Grand Canyonby John Barton We stand on the edge, the fallinto depth, the ascent of light revelatory, the canyon walls movingup out of shadow, litcolours of the layers cutting down through darkness, sunrise as itpasses a precipitate of the river, its burnt tangerineflare brief, jagged bleeding above the far rim for a splitsecond IContinue reading “Sunrise, Grand Canyon by John Barton (Arizona)”