poem index

Dawn

George Hitchcock
Clouds rise from their nests
with flapping wings, they whisper
of worn leather, bracken, long
horizons, and the manes of dark
horses. In the waking stream
the stones lie like chestnuts
in a glass bowl. I pass the bones
of an old harrow thrown on its side
in the ditch.

                   Now the sun appears.
It is a fish wrapped in straw.
Its scales fall on the sleeping
town with its eyeless graineries
and necklace of boxcars. Soon
the blue wind will flatten the roads
with a metallic palm, the glitter
of granite will blind the eyes.

But not yet. The beetle still
stares from the riding moon, the ship
of death stands motionless on
frozen waves: I hear
the silence of early morning
rise from the rocks.

From A Ship of Bells, published by Kayak Press. Used by permission.

George Hitchcock