Friday, September 18, 2015

Song Dogs

Someone wrote ghost trees weather
As if they had their tombstones
Paled all their lives inside them,

A fond bit of imagery
For the seawater-poisoned
Forest sunken in silver.

Coyotes are the poets
Of the raven-haunted world--
Not the eloquent ravens

Themselves--gaunt echoic yips
That trick the believer's ear
Into thick imaginings

Of how the forest was home
When the northernmost monkeys
In water-proof furred jackets

Jumped from cedar to cedar,
Close to the ice-mouthed mountains,
Never dreaming of exile

From the twilight, the glaciers,
The song dogs and longer-toothed,
Carnivores, all howling things.

We belonged to ourselves once.
We recognized our voices
As the voices of shadows.

We were not always talkers
Bunched up at the equator
Where every soul remembers

The same damn day forever.
The song dogs growled and warbled.
We wanted to believe them,

Believe our speech came from bones
As lifeless and silvery
As moonlight after drowning,

Although we leaped easily
In our downy snowed mantles
Through the ghosts we surrendered.

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