®

Today's poem is by Rob Carney

More Than Ashes to Ashes, Not Just Dust to Dust


In the Old Songs about Washington, if a fisherman drowned
and his body wasn’t found, it brought bad luck;
the salmon vanished too, and all the seals.

Even the deer smelled the badness
and scattered past the ends of the wind.
Even the wind would be creeping, flat-bellied, afraid.

‘Til they’d send for the Sculptor—a woman as beautiful,
secret as the mountains. She’d come from the mountains
to dig in the creekside clay,

to restore with Her fingers,
shaping the fisherman’s figure, the man’s lost face.
And in the Old Songs, this was good:

the people had something to bury now
in the hole She’d opened by the stream;
his spirit could live there, spearing the spirits of fish.

And there would be living fish too . . .
and the rocks alive with barking seals . . .
and they’d thank the Sculptor by shaping Her into a song.



Copyright © 2003 Rob Carney All rights reserved
from New Fables, Old Songs
Dream Horse Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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