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About this Poem 

“This poem began one day when I overheard the phrase ‘coming forth into view’. This phrase gave me a feeling a little like hope, a little like nostalgia, and it seemed totally associated with the existence of life. The resulting poem is my attempt to evoke that feeling by focus and place and by acknowledging a specific few members of the massive volume of life forms constantly coming forth, each and every one warriors against oblivion.”
—Pattiann Rogers

Forth Into View, Random Warriors

The slender checkered beetle, pale
earth brown, sallies forth from among 
the bark canals of the oak, the eaten mar 
of the woody gall left dying.  Her spiny 
yellow hairs sparkle in the summer sun.

Lacewings, locust, and laurel loosen
cocoon, carapace, and bud, shimmy out
and pause, airing wings expanding like rumpled
petals, spreading petals opening like slatted 
wings, as they pass into the new world.

Toe by toe the children of the sun depart 
from the east out of living fire to become
spikes, glumes, anthers, sheaves, broad
montane grassland, flowing steppe, 
savannah, veld, wild horse pampas. 

The fiddler crab with his royal blue 
spot emerges beside the great charging 
dawn of the morning sea, scuttles sideways 
out of the drenched sands and savory 
mud bank of the tidal marsh.

Now echoes in cougar lairs, snake crannies,
coon burrows, the hillside den of gray fox.  
Moonrat's  nose appears from the crevice 
in the bluff, sniffing fish and wormy mud.  
Turtle's beak shows at shell's edge first.
Claws and feet extend directly.
The smooth, golden-green swale 
of the trout swivels upward, breaks 
through the boundaries of sky 
with its mouth wide open gulping day.

After parting the flap, after gripping 
the knob, after lifting the latch, after kicking 
the door until the hinges crack and fail 
and the hindrance falls, then the jaunt, 
the saunter, the sprint, the lope, the totter, 
ramble and meander, the traipse and slink,
the shamble, shuffle, gallop and glide, 
the push against the beyond begins.

Copyright © 2014 by Pattiann Rogers. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 20, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2014 by Pattiann Rogers. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 20, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Pattiann Rogers

Pattiann Rogers

Born in 1940, Pattiann Rogers is the author of numerous collections of poetry.

by this poet

Those are my bones rifted
and curled, knees to chin,
among the rocks on the beach, 
my hands splayed beneath my skull
in the mud. Those are my rib
bones resting like white sticks
wracked on the bank, laid down,
delivered, rubbed clean
by river and snow.

Ethereal as seedless weeds
in dim sun and frost, I see
Elf owl, cactus wren, fruit flies incubating
In the only womb they'll ever recognize.
Shadow for the sand rat, spines
And barbary ribs clenched with green wax.
Seven thousand thorns, each a water slide,
A wooden tongue licking the air dry.

Inside, early morning mist captured intact,
The taste of drizzle sucked
This is about no rain in particular,
just any rain, rain sounding on the roof,
any roof, slate or wood, tin or clay
or thatch, any rain among any trees,
rain in soft, soundless accumulation,
gathering rather than falling on the fir
of juniper and cedar, on a lace-community
of cobwebs, rain clicking off the rigid