Poems by Susan Dale

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Heartbeat of the World

by Susan Dale

From Canary Winter 2012-13

Susan lives on a farm in Ohio near Lake Erie in the Mills Creek/Pipe Creek watershed, amongst her many gardens, the forest and fields.

Within a sleep
of the universal dream
dreaming me
I lean out in the darkness
to hear a heartbeat of the world
Listening wide
straining with sinew and soul
I hear flapping wings
Ah, it is the bird of scripture
The Vikings buried him
Remember, with your being,
he under layers of Arctic ice

Prophesy decreed
that a shrill brass sun
melt and free his wings
to thrash the skies to raw skin winds
Winds to push across
skies, deeply moving
Winds to push clouds
to gallop through the heavens
Wings talk around winds
But what words tell of winds
gasping with the sounds of dead things washing on shore
Ashes - bones
arteries clogged with oil
Oil - the black blood of our destruction
And in the air, a heavy scent of gone
West winds blow vapors cold on leaves, quivering
on trees with thin chests
and branches reach out in search of embrace
Oh, tired earth of heavy-lidded eyes
dusty clouds - weeping waters
of voices deafened by silence
Our words spoken with fingers
forming the telling
of living to die
existing to endure
We have filled
to fall out of ourselves
and so must we swim to the moon
But what will light our way?
Our shadows lengthening and widening
darken the moon
Souls of stars lie bare
The black V of wings beat the sun to shreds
Winds dip and roar
Yet stir up only pale raindrops
In this hollow rain
stands a girl with broken umbrella
She’s trading her memories
for a withered apple in a faded pocket
Her brother sells his poems
a penny apiece
All begin with the line …
life yearns to live
And end …
life is longing for itself




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