Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Eagles find solace in the far glow of towns..."

3. Do they dream of this world or of another?

The prairie lies open like a vacant eye, blind to everything but the wind. From the tall grass the sky is an industrious map that bursts with rivers and cities. A black hawk waltzes against his clumsy wings, the buzzards grow bored with the dead.
A screendoor flapping idly on an August afternoon or a woman fanning herself in church; this is how the tails of snakes and cats keep time even in sleep.
There are sudden flashes of light to account for. Alligators, tormented by knots and vines, take these as a sign of grace. Eagles find solace in the far glow of towns, in the small yellow bulb a child keeps by his bed. The lightning that scars the horizon of the meadow is carried in the desperate gaze of foxes.

From "Four Questions Regarding the Dreams of Animals" by Susan Stewart, Yellow Stars and Ice (1981). Complete poem at Poetry Foundation.

Illustration of a Golden Eagle from Wikimedia Commons.

(There's a companion post at Turn Outward.)

No comments: