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March 22

John Steffler


Sitting outside with a book
for the first time this year —


                                                  on the blue walls
the birds are scribbling
wildly with brilliant
crayons,
               and the spirals and saws and mazes
tangle and fade
and are overlaid with more bird iconography,

more landscape according to Blue Jay, Grackle, Starling,
Robin.

I want to paint the inside walls of my skull with these
        scrawls
which are more useful than all the buildings of Waterloo,
all the blunders of roads and suburbs.

The blue is a tongue on which all dissolves,
is swallowed
                    with a kind of smile -- space and time being
actually pleasure, narrative
unafraid of an end.

Two grackles greasy with cobalt, viridian, shoulder
their way through the branches, taste
each frost-baked apple left on the tree.

                                        Small,
small in the blue, a pale
                    hawk circles on heavy wings, thinking of fruit
of another kind.

Grave consciousness
that encloses consciousness. Today

there's no point thinking of him.



John Steffler's works copyright © to the author.


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