I recently finished the following poem.  True, most of my work is in the teaching of poetry or in the writing of scholarly articles.  Every now and again, though, I set forth to craft a poem.  I think it makes me a better teacher, scholar, and writer.

I hope that the images in “Migration” (and their juxtaposition) stand on their own.  Here it is:


aurora borealis made flesh
flecked out across sky

distant dots expand
multitudes within multitudes

wings beat into the cold
air of the plains

necks strain toward the pull
of primeval earth

felt in sinews of bison
flukes of whales
hollowed bones of hummingbirds
flanks of wildebeest
and in the fibrous flesh of salmon

I am conscious of
a faint quickening of blood

while I stand
casting twilight’s shadows

across white lines
in a parking lot

slowly I fumble my keys
open the door

climb in & start my car
wondering what vertebrae

may lie in the Great Plains beneath
the pavement over which I commute

creature of habit
I turn on the radio

catching dead air
between songs


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