At the Frontier


The blackbird sings at
the frontier of his music.
The branch where he sat


marks the brink of doubt,
is the outpost of his realm,
edge from which to rout


encroachers with trills
and melismatic runs sur-
passing earthbound skills.


It sounds like ardor,
it sounds like joy. We are glad
here at the border


where he signs the air
with his invisible staves,
“Trespassers beware”—


Song as survival—
a kind of pure music which
we cannot rival.

– A.E. Stallings, “Blackbird Etude”



Good morrow

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.   

The dark wheat listens.

Be still.


There they are, the moon’s young, trying

Their wings.

Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow

Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone

Wholly, into the air.

I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe

Or move.

I listen.

The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,

And I lean toward mine.

– James Wright


sunrise at dusk


Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:


This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling
Come here


Come here, little one


And the soul creeps out of the tree.

 – Louise Gluck, “All Hallows” 

just thought I’d let you know…



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