02 June 2009

Eleanor Rand Wilner

[from Eleanor Rand Wilner's The Girl with Bees in Her Hair, Copper Canyon, 2004]

Field of Vision

And if the bee, half-drunk
on the nectar of the columbine,
could think of the dying queen, the buzz
of chaos in the hive, the agitation
of the workers in their cells, the veiled
figure come again to rob the combs --
then would the summer fields
grow still, the hum of propagation
cease, the flowers spread
bright petals to no avail -- as if
a plug were drawn from a socket
in the sun, the light that flowed into
the growing field would fail;
for how should the bee make honey then,
afraid to look, afraid to look away?

Theory and Practice in Poetry

    for Annie, working the desk at the Canyon Ranch

The idea that freezes me this time
    is the "ideal" of a poet finding
          her poetics.
While outside, Mr. T
             in his T-shirt is prowling the greens,
          and all the long lazy days are lying down
       in the meadow outside the ruined
    precincts of an old sophistry, in
       another state, getting on toward noon,
          where, among a thickness of flowers
             so redolent and sweet as to dizzy
          even the bees, summer slides in,
       bringing a haze of heat like the skin
    shed by a river when a mist rises
       from its indolent wet back, droplets
          of water (each carrying a world)
             that travel on the back of a sequined
          wind to that meadow woven of
       grass, flowers, and guesswork -- so
    intricate a tapestry of greens
       that in all that steam, and heat, and
          growing matter, the ideal of a poet
             finding her poetics
is lost like
          like a ball in tall weeds, and the dog who
       finds it carries it off in his mouth,
    coating it with his sweet saliva,
       and brings it, across miles of odd
          synapses and scattered thoughts,
             and drops it at the feet of a woman
          who is staring down a well, but
       just then turns away to acknowledge
    the warm breath on her knee, and
       reaches down and pats the warm
          furred head of the panting, eager
             dog, who feels pleased at his
          feat of fetching, as does she, as
       she rubs behind his ears
    and lifting the sticky ball from
       his mouth, she thinks for a minute
          of tossing it down the well, but
             instead she throws it, as far
          as she can, into the lucid blue
       desert sky, and watches
    as it makes that beautiful arc
       (gravity's rainbow) back
          toward the sandy earth
             as the dog hurtles off after it,
          until, all at once, all unaware
       of how he has found it -- there it is: bright
    and round in his mouth, then dropped
       like the world at your feet.

Buy Eleanor Rand Wilner's book @ Amazon

1 comment:

  1. i just finished this book a few weeks ago. good read!