Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

Gæð A Wyrd Swa Hio Scel

If you’re like us, you’ve heard
Through some a.m. sunshine
The mourning doves do
Their four woos and have
Wondered whether they’ll ever

Really get over it. We’ve seen
The summer air pleated
And plaited, shadows of leaves
Waver with our slight shadows,
Not cumbersome to carry, but

Dim rarities, burned for a moment
Onto a wall, a street, a grave,
Or water whirlpooling, taking
Everything down with it.
We’ve watched our eyes turn

Riverine, plangent as a dusty
Plane tree that shades empty
Dusty cars in the piazza.
When we’ve driven that stretch
Of road all the way

To The Calamities, when
The fado from the café in Lisbon
Is carried out in our hems
And turned-up cuffs, when
The handsome foursome we saw

Rollicking, we might know to let
Our hands be guided by something
We are not. If the tomb cracks
Open like a skull, if the someone
Walking down the road is really

Someone else, if the wander
Gets us the rave, if the interrogation
Really is all about some great
Fright we had at two this
Morning, something we’ll try

To remember as something important,
Something to carry in the clitellum,
If we had one. Go so quickly
Went to gone. Brisk hearing,
The suddenness of seeing

Something seen only once,
Or feeling a whistle, some
Instinctual pitch, a patch
Where water will stand, and
We’ll step over it, umbrella

People that we’ve become.
If we steer with one hand
What, pray tell, do we do
With the other, not the deep
Breath we mistake for

Mourning something but
Something we remember,
Something that could be flat-
Out wrong, a whisper this is wrong,
This isn’t how it was supposed to be.

Wyrd, “fate goes ever as she shall,” Beowulf; Warsaw, saw war, Warsaw was raw; cliticize, unstressed word, “I see ’em”; clitellum/a, packsaddle, homologous, proclitic; beyond the pale, pale/palisade; little, pray tell, the mantis isn’t praying/preying; freezer burn, calamities, witness, nest, knock; another, nut, nuther, him, mien, dim, rare, rarity; complaint, plaintive, plantain, deplane; rarities, something rare, wander and rave, rove; fulsome, chromosome, cumbersome, foursome, handsome; lissome, lithesome, rollick; riverine, “fated sky,” “the book of fate”; pleated air, plangent, plaited; fable, fabliau, fado, fairy, fandango, fantoccini, puppet, infant; prophet, fantods; mourn: to remember sorrowfully; flat and flatter; let my hand be guided by something I am not  

return to top