Alice B Fogel

Odyssey
by Alice B. Fogel

Listen here in the golden thick of it the heavens

break open out of every word which means
acorns leaves seeds coast through skies life forms freed

to bury themselves in these small plots of earth.
In the woods gathers this applause

when the falling things clap past branches and edges
articulate whatever clips or collides.

It sounds as if a greater heft pounded
inside them as if a crowd of souls had come with voices

you can see as they take leave
of their bodies. Is your heart unbroken now?

Does this moving stillness with its punctured
seconds ticking through the trees tip your cup until you can

hear every cling drop
away into quiet a purge a windward plunge fielding

a thousand long goodbyes? You want to be lashed
to the ravishment to listen lifelong at the mast.

This is a landing without shore or shipwreck a music
whose waves only claim a coloratura in gray boughs

and even the distances between them
seem to have something

to say something like look there are emptyings
that consent to fill the forest floor to the brim of your boots

those other islands planted side by side.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 3.

Alice B FogelAlice B. Fogel is the Poet Laureate of New Hampshire. In addition to Strange Terrain, a guide to appreciating poetry without necessarily “getting” it, she is the author, most recently, of A Doubtful House (2017). Other collections include Interval: Poems Based on Bach’s Goldberg Variations (2015), which won the N. Schaffner Award for Music in Literature and the NH Literary Award in Poetry, and Be That Empty, a national bestseller.

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