Monday, April 17, 2006

Knots

This is an old Seattle poem that I think was published somewhere, though I don't remember where. I always liked the energy of this one, even if the imagery is a little, shall we say, dark.


["heart of darkness"]


Knots

Who am I to conjure midnight at noon,
implore rise and watch the dead
crawl decayed from their graves?

Dark magic of words. Capturing the crow’s
shadow so that I may see through
his tricky eyes, use his powerful beak

to peck at knots just below surface.
A kind of theft, this conjuring,
like the bright young god who stole

prophecy from a young woman’s lips
with the simple gesture of a kiss.
Always something sexual at the source

of all actions, thinly disguised hunger
behind all creation and destruction.
And at the root, twin snakes knotted

in sleep. Above them an oak tree
dropping acorns. Despite the fog
and rain outside my window, on this page

it is spring. Perhaps I delude myself
in the power of words;
the dead, after all, do not rise

from the earth at my command,
and the crow, no matter what I say,
has no need of a shadow.

The knotted cord unties. Because
the world refuses, I conjure midnight
at noon, and it is good.
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