–inspired, at least in part, by Rilke’s “Sonnets To Orpheus, Part Two, XII”
insomnia, like doubt, befalls
the autopsy of interactions and
thoughtloop of potential transgressions
quicken time despite a languid clock
glowering beneath a swath of dust.
the upstairs neighbors’ staccato nocturnal noises echo
erratic patterns of thought;
light-summoning does not erase
does not silence the creaks from above.
the yellow bodies of birds swarm
above the lake, swooping sharply
for their precise selection
of hovering, unsuspecting insect—
carefully consuming their miniscule bodies
as the day’s transcendent light fades.
somewhere in between:
i drive below
a dizzying amount of wings—
their sky-sprawl sanctifies
the mundanity of routine and
sings songs of beginning.
everything is nuance and wonder.
not into mistakes
in the absence of words:
a dare to become the wind
to move closer, unanchored,
to the changing arrangement of the stars.
“The distinction and particular value of anything, or any person, inevitably must alter according to the time and place from which we take our view.” – Mary Oliver
We cast our lines into the sky,
but the limp scrawl drags and falls to earth.
The lion watchfully idles nearby:
an asylum from the hazards of the dream.
From atoms and dust, an illuminated albatross—
incandescence entices, beckons you to rain.
The resurrection remains unimpeded by rain,
preceding sedition’s reverberation to the sky.
Autumn falls around the albatross:
a compulsory marker of time on earth.
Unceasing swerving, eluvium dream,
and with the wind—a scattering nearby.
From element to element, fragments float nearby,
designating spaces between the rain.
The vacillating belief in an internecine dream
binds us from a journey to the sky.
What we see from the perspective of earth:
antithetical to the albatross.
Remembering possession, the albatross
soars toward the nearby
sea. Inherited from the earth:
instinct and belief. From the formless edge, rain
falls from a seraphic sky—
and as the golden hour descends, so too the dream.
The perpetual time in orbit feels like a dream,
yet the gunwale lures the albatross
to alight upon its edge. Toward the sky,
his eyes: reckoning or bargaining with nearby
proclivities—while the lugubrious rain
battles harbingers of uncertainty on earth.
Fall hastily settles into her gradations on earth,
echoing an abstract mutability: of self—and dream.
Beyond what’s seen—through the rain
and in between, an albatross
waits at the window, while a lion emerges nearby
with a line to cast into the sky.
The fecundity of earth helps us jettison the albatross—
instead ascend: a crystalline dream, devised in stars nearby.
Above the rain, a discernible truth from a distant sky.
aeronautics: bear hill preserve, october 2016
vultures view autumn’s
decay. wings buffet against
leaves both somber and
vivacious, leave hope as a
test of perspective
Through the hoe, you’d know
it wasn’t the soil of home.
(As if the trees didn’t sway differently,
the susurration of their swish perhaps
higher pitched than what you’ve heard
through your ancestors’ voices.)
Still a vast expanse of land
but with the feasibility of freedom
And the equations of the field
(rows straight, bodies bent—both
endless.) didn’t add up—
since the values remained
unknown to anyone except
the bodies alone.
But over the terrain, you’d hear
the warbled net-ee-yo of the reedbird,
singing the arrival of their migration,
and signaling fall.
(singing, too, the soul song of sovereignty,
though still beholden to subsistence, so . . .)
a descent and devour of the stalks of labor,
black and white feathers blurred.
You gathered what you could,
from around and within,
emerging with a contraption
to circumvent the interruption
Each raised scar a reminder of your voice,
but the reverberation of wood and metal:
a rallying cry against futility.
And maybe it had pained you in a different way
to have to scare away that which symbolized freedom—
now farther out of reach.
But through the trees, you’d see it still:
waiting, planning, believing,
that each grain determined survival.
Malorie Seeley-Sherwood holds an MA in English from the State University of New York at New Paltz and teaches writing at the middle, high school, and college levels. Her work has appeared in Shawangunk Review, and she is currently working on a chapbook titled Women at Windows. You can find her online @malorie_ss.
Featured Photo Credit: James Sherwood