Today's poem is by Deborah Bogen
Moving the Moon
I'm not interested in the shaggy horse
(or is it a pony?) although it's white.
It's dirty, comes into my mind with steam
rising from its thick winter coat.
I close the gate, improvise some
dark green and black, an undifferentiated
thickness above which I put a moon
for accent. Go 'way horse. Shoo.
Stop chomping. Stop blowing clouds
of heat. I stare away, increasing the dark,
inventing an owl, also
white but perhaps oracular,
like the bird that flew through the window
the day I spoke in tongues.
But heat brings back the horse, loaded
with things to trade, short, stocky,
not at all tired. Then this becomes an old landscape,
one I've hidden from myself.
Because it's stupid.
Doesn't speak, insinuates a journey
and embarrassed, I try to erase
the suddenly obvious owl before it drops a feather,
before a single symbolically meaningful feather
falls. But it's dangerous to imagine
owls, hard to blot them out,
even with chemicals,
scissors may fail, may leave another moon.
The horse lowers its head, eats.
Heat swells from the body, and from
the bales of hay laid out
like giant erasers. Like desks
in a dark classroom. Still, if I took drugs
this is where I'd go. I can't
banish the stupid white horse,
but I can move the moon, divide it,
put it back together.
I can draw any face on it
I like. And the owl leaves the low tree
by the creek to sit at my feet
(owl on the ground, never meant
to see that!) More things catch moonlight,
come into being, distant silos,
small acorn crowns, each post moon-washed
and one-sided. It's warm enough here
to do without fire, but
that's it. No story. No arcane
wisdom or poignantly momentous
past event. I just like this quiet.
And the owl who opens his
one good eye. The horse
keeps his head in the hay making heat.
I prefer moonlight,
I like the green to be almost black.
I like a lot of space
with nothing going on.
A few white words,
and the rim of the milk pail polished
and fine in my dark.
Copyright © 2004 Deborah Bogen All rights reserved
from Iron Horse Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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