Clade Song 12 left

Clade Song 12

Two Birds

Their voices hitched to forgotten space,
two birds with no evident burden,
rich in their rogue philosophy,
find ways to sort out seeds
and bent luminous fibers
across the fields that ignore them.

They burn in the joyous fear of last light,
the setting of the sun they never expect
to see again, and so they draw in warmth
and it is more than good enough
for the minute they inhabit.

Along the cliffs of night song, older than
the blind sea that undercuts them,
there is a chance for a crack in the viscous dark,
a burst of horizontal light that gifts the birds
another day to cry out in this world.

Clade Song 12 Right

Lawrence R. Smith is a novelist, poet, editor and publisher of literary magazine Caliban. He is also a translator of many Italian poets collected in his anthology The New Italian Poetry [University of California Press, 1981] and of Yang Mu from the Chinese in No Trace of the Gardener [Yale University Press, 1998]. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Eastern Michigan University, the University of Rome, the University of Hawaii, California State University, San Bernardino, and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. He currently lives near Los Angeles.




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