19 July 2009

Hayden Carruth

[from Hayden Carruth's Collected Shorter Poems: 1946-1991, Copper Canyon, 1992]

The Wreck of the Circus Train

Couplings buckled, cracked, collapsed,
And all reared, wheels and steel
Pawing and leaping above the plain,

And fell down totally, a crash
Deep in the rising surf of dust,
As temples into their cellars crash.

Dust flattened across the silence
That follows the end of anything,
Drifted into cracks of wreckage.

But motion remained, a girder
Found gravity and shifted, a wheel
Turned lazily, turning, turning.

And life remained, at work to
Detain spirit: three lions, one
Male with wide masculine mane,

Two female, short, strong, emerged
And looked quickly over the ruin,
Turned and moved toward the hills.

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