The feathered saints of evening flit
down through the wooded hills to construe
salads of hailstones and leaf-wreckage,
the thunder having sped east-northeast
toward open water after leaving nothing
altered in the major features below.
The angle of river can always guide
a dumb soul or two to welcoming fields
where struggling plantlings yearn
for breath to sweep their leaves, enter
a rough, black portal at the thin roots.
A young crop of beans: stationary
ferry to a strange, coppery existence.
A good dog can scout this scent for miles
over mountain fog and village cookfires.
The wind is a color she can deduce
a million intimations from, unflinchingly.
The same wind comes to the saints, as if
they were abandoned boats on a wide bay
when the clouds pass and the chop slows
to a pulse, the shore a long mouth
that hasn’t shifted expression in years.
All things that find a death there take
an invisible token of that freshwater pout:
a bone is dragged into pines and oak,
an organ ends up sailing around in the rain,
the rest is dissected there on the sands.
High song in high branches—a sane
nothing that will happen until it ends.
**F. Daniel Rzicznek**’s books include _Divination Machine_ (Parlor Press, forthcoming in 2009), Neck of the World (Utah State University Press, 2007), and a chapbook, Cloud Tablets (Kent State University Press, 2006). He is co-editor of _The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice_ (Rose Metal Press, forthcoming in 2010) and teaches at Bowling Green State University.
The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth by Robert Graves
Shape of the Journey by Jim Harrison