Poems by Monty Jones

Archives: by Issue | by Author Name

North Woods

by Monty Jones

From Canary Spring 2014

Monty lives within the highly urbanized Country Club Creek watershed in Austin, Texas.† Country Club Creek is only seven miles long and flows into the Colorado River not far from Jones' house.

Chanced upon this one place no one else
wanted, camped among these red pines
beside the least-favored lake, for three cold nights
I have bent before a fire, scavenged branches
urged into flame, tired of finding things I canít name
everywhere I look, to watch the blue light go down
and wait for the flight of the loon.

This one bird, a male, and the same one
I have seen in the full light far out across the lake,
where he drifts and rocks at a lazy distance
from the female and the two young,
so they are together and apart,
until somehow toward dusk he has been off alone,
far to the north, and begins his long return to them:

First and for a long time you only hear him calling,
a parody of the proper sound of a bird,
his cartoon laugh and then that long lunatic cry
until a loon appears above you, flying so low
above you and so fast, you hear his wings
thrash the air, until he disappears in the pines
and then flies on and on into the growing darkness.

Each night the loon makes the same mad dash home,
a thing to stand and wonder at Ė to hear him coming
all that time, announcing the fact of himself
from that great distance, and then at last
to see the staggering addle-winged flight
as he crosses above me where the branches part
in the darkening sky, and to think of how
he must sound to the ones across the water.

© 2018 Hippocket Press | ISSN 2574-0016 | Site by Winter Street Design