Thursday, March 15, 2007


Hung in a web of air the hawk
peers mindless at the ground,
sum of his feathery appetites,
a clerk indentured to the thermals,
scanning for his portion the bankrupt,
busy landscape, pure momentum
unrestrained by frigid dreams
of perfect freedom, fatted prey.
His is an ancient heart, quiet
in the rote tyranny of shape.
But into that unruffled calm
as he rolls from his cage of air to become
a screaming hymn to wind flashes
keen the fugitive idiot joy.

Then, in sliced remains, he stands,
tries to remember what that was
that happened to him in the sky,
that ghost in the machine, fire
in his chest. As if on strings
he blinks and flings himself aloft.


Minx said...

Sometimes, Carver, I find it really difficult to comment on your poetry. Not just your poetry either, but some of the other good ones out there.
Poems this good evoke an emotional response and sometimes it is just so difficult to write down a sigh!

Debi said...

You've just put my feelings into words too, Minx.

I hope you know if people don't comment it's not because they're critical or (as if) uninterested, John.

We just get tongue tied ...

John said...

I know the feeling, only too well...

pundy said...

Let's not fuck around here John. You're a brilliant poet.


You need to be careful. Don't let it go to your head. Don't say too much. Don't force it. Don't stop being ordinary - or you'll become ordinary. Above all - stay humble. Humility is your best friend.

John said...

I think you're right, Bill--about the humility, I mean, and not trying to say too much. But I don't think there's much danger, not for me. Quite the reverse, really. I've always struggled with a sense of abject failure when a piece gets finished, if it ever does. The results never do measure up to the original conception, the idea of what possibly might have been said. I've thrown a lot of work away because of that. Some of what you've read here has been reconstructed from trashed mss...

But thanks for the compliments. It really does help to know someone likes what you're doing.

I should also tell you that I've long ago lost any ideas about the grandeur of poetry, or its deathlessness, or any sense that it will change the world one whit, all ideas I harbored early on. Now, for me, it's what it is: the results of my sorting out various mental/linguistic knots. Some I'm proud to have written; others I can barely stand to look at. If I keep doing it, it's because I'm just batshit crazy. But we knew that already, didn't we? Why else would I have started?

Atyllah said...

I completely agree with Minx's comments - says it to a T how feel about your poetry.

Minx said...

And what exactly is wrong with 'batshit crazy'?
It is a good thing that there are still enough poets, writers and artists who believe enough to write down all that bashitcrazyness that gathers inside. What would the world be like without the bravery of words?