Kwakiutl

Kwakiutl

On a long journey. The road darkened like glass
after the candle behind it has guttered.

I met the forest there like a corner rounding everywhere.
Birds who’d never heard themselves before were asking

for their names. Though we could hear the train beyond the ridge
we knew it was empty except for a woman anxious

she’d missed her stop as she dozed. We walked but I could not hear
your step behind me over the sound of the leaves growing.

I am tracking a number in the dark. It keeps changing typeface
to throw me off the trail but it is the only set of tracks ahead of me.

Even as I slow down I am accelerating. Your own footsteps
are catching up to me but I am afraid the number ahead will tire

at last and I will catch it, panting on a hip-high rock among the pine.
I should go back to the woods in the daytime, who ever thought

you were nocturnal, and in the light splaying
among the leaves I am not afraid of numbers.

leaf

14 thoughts on “Kwakiutl

  1. Ron

    This is one of my all-time favorites. I like its Okajiesque blend of the bizarre and the sublime. Very nicely done, Jeff. 🙂

    Ron

    Reply
  2. Sunshine Jansen

    Just fantastic, JS — always such a pleasure reading and re-reading the play of ideas and light in your poems.

    Reply
  3. Chris

    This is excellent: “Birds who’d never heard themselves before were asking for their names.” A terrific poem, Jeff!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s