Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Poetry Wednesday

Yellow Hair/Without List

I was a tree upon which moss and mushrooms had grown overnight
Something was sucking up my sunlight, and I was hungry
Every piece of hair that fell was a meal
I would pay no one to cut it
I hated it in July, and had not before
The ends first, which were yellow
And had grown furthest from the roots
My mother’s sisters were crying; I was the last yellow-haired child
I cut them away
And then cut away that which they were cut from.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd something not-mine that I love:

The Armadillo
by Elizabeth Bishop

This is the time of year 
when almost every night 
the frail, illegal fire balloons appear. 
Climbing the mountain height, 

rising toward a saint 
still honored in these parts, 
the paper chambers flush and fill with light 
that comes and goes, like hearts. 

Once up against the sky it's hard 
to tell them from the stars— 
planets, that is—the tinted ones: 
Venus going down, or Mars, 

or the pale green one. With a wind, 
they flare and falter, wobble and toss; 
but if it's still they steer between 
the kite sticks of the Southern Cross, 

receding, dwindling, solemnly 
and steadily forsaking us, 
or, in the downdraft from a peak, 
suddenly turning dangerous. 

Last night another big one fell. 
It splattered like an egg of fire 
against the cliff behind the house. 
The flame ran down. We saw the pair 

of owls who nest there flying up 
and up, their whirling black-and-white 
stained bright pink underneath, 
until they shrieked up out of sight. 

The ancient owls' nest must have burned. 
Hastily, all alone, 
a glistening armadillo left the scene, 
rose-flecked, head down, tail down, 

and then a baby rabbit jumped out, 
short-eared, to our surprise. 
So soft!—a handful of intangible ash 
with fixed, ignited eyes. 

Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry! 
O falling fire and piercing cry 
and panic, and a weak mailed fist 
clenched ignorant against the sky!

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