Today's poem is by Gary J. Whitehead


Years later, in spite of his weak knees,
he might have labored up that volcanic peak

to gaze upon the giant ribs
of this thing he’d built by hand, the ship

it was sailing into view as through the eyes
of some half-starved songbird looking for a place

to land. And because he’d hewn it,
he might have run his hand along a cubit,

the keel piece bleached as a bone
and smooth, breamed by many days beneath the sun.

There, above the treeline and below the snow,
unsteady on his feet, fatigued, the ship he knew

reduced so, when, at its best
it had quartered all those pairs of beasts,

he would, no doubt, have reeled
not unlike the Lord seeing his failed

creation. What builder wouldn’t glance
between the ruined futtocks and apprehend in the distance

mud structures; smoke of cookfires; shapes
of donkeys, dogs, goats, grazing sheep?

Above the green plateau there is always grief,
which, inspired, becomes the breath of life.

Copyright © 2013 Gary J. Whitehead All rights reserved
from A Glossary of Chickens
Princeton University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Weekly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2013 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved