the green fields beyond

Theologylifelovehistoryfaithmoviesrants...

Name:
Location: Charles City, Virginia, United States

Friday, April 10, 2009

Poetry Month: The Heaven of Animals


April is National Poetry Month, or something like that, so once again this year I'll post a few.


The Heaven of Animals

BY jAMES dICKEY

Here they are. The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.

Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open.

To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.

For some of these,
It could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done,
But with claws and teeth grown perfect,

More deadly than they can believe.
They stalk more silently,
And crouch on the limbs of trees,
And their descent
Upon the bright backs of their prey

May take years
In a sovereign floating of joy.
And those that are hunted
Know this as their life,
Their reward: to walk

Under such trees in full knowledge
Of what is in glory above them,
And to feel no fear,
But acceptance, compliance.
Fulfilling themselves without pain

At the cycle’s center,
They tremble, they walk
Under the tree,
They fall, they are torn,
They rise, they walk again.


James Dickey, “The Heaven of Animals” from The Whole Motion: Collected Poems 1945-1992. Copyright © 1992 by James Dickey.

1 Comments:

said...

Glad to join you in celebrating poetry! I'm posting lots of poems this month, too. Thanks for bringing my attention to this poet -- he's new to me.

1:03 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home