by George Hitchcock
Clouds rise from their nests
with flapping wings, they whisper
of worn leather, bracken, long
horizons, and the manes of dark
horses. In the waking stream
the stones lie like chestnuts
in a glass bowl. I pass the bones
of an old harrow thrown on its side
in the ditch.
                   Now the sun appears.
It is a fish wrapped in straw.
Its scales fall on the sleeping
town with its eyeless graineries
and necklace of boxcars. Soon
the blue wind will flatten the roads
with a metallic palm, the glitter
of granite will blind the eyes.
But not yet. The beetle still
stares from the riding moon, the ship
of death stands motionless on
frozen waves: I hear
the silence of early morning
rise from the rocks.

0 thoughts on “

  1. A feast of imagery. Seems near the end it should be “The beetle still stares from the rising–not riding–moon;” the beetle an ominous replacement for the proverbial man in the moon. Much of the imagery has a death feel to it, which that obscure “ship of death”–I’m not sure what it refers to–rounds out. The poem, beautiful and quiet, yet evokes a sense of mortal threat: “the bones of an old harrow,” “the sun…a fish wrapped in straw,” “the blue wind” flattening the roads “with a metallic palm,” the blinding “glitter of granite.” Could it be dawn brings all the things to light that die?

  2. (Randall, I am becoming a fan of your commentary on these poems. Keep it coming. Thanks~ spot on analyses and you give me a bounce back perspective for my own reading. I appreciate what you’re doing and hope you don’t mind me saying so.)
    I love this poem. This is exactly the direction I want to read more in….relating space travel and science fiction-cum-reality shared through a lens that is familiar and homespun rather than projected through cultural dystrophy caused by relentless innovation. The future is happening. I am encouraged to see a poet claim it for me. Thank you.

Leave a Reply