The warmer weather here in Kentucky is allowing my boys and I to get out and take long walks in the woods. Sometimes those walks inspire poems, as this one, written towards the end of last summer, when everything was at its peak. Essay at Eagle Lake is forthcoming in Inscape, Morehead State University's Literary Journal. You can also read more of my published work here. Enjoy!
Essay at Eagle Lake
Twice the doe has strayed to the bottom of the hollow,
where chicory and goldenrod grow,
where tree line meets path,
and path meets water.
And twice have I met her, and once looked for her.
I have found geese as well.
I run at them just to see their excited departure.
I want to watch them fly away from my simple violence.
Of course I stumble and fall.
I’m afraid I am as my father: impatient for the infinite.
I look for the doe and I look at her long.
I feed on her soft doe-eyes.
I brush the gnat from my eye.
as she twitches her ear,
and stamps her hind leg to shake off the horsefly.
I never stop looking.
I cannot let go of the strange, bestial embrace of our gaze.
I fill myself like a tick until I am
satisfied as if
my blood-gorged body hung
from the white fur of her belly.
We are in this world together for a moment
and then she is gone,
bounding away like she was made for this dream.
I must return, too.
Of course I recite these lines to myself along the way.
I do not want to forget them.
These things are valuable to me:
the doe, the geese, the purple and yellow of the chicory and the goldenrod.
It is because I can use them again and again
that I emerge from the woods like a madman, a gadabout, a poetaster,
dirt-drenched and sweating, mumbling, always
mumbling to myself.