May 9, 2012 / Creative Writing
In “O For a Thousand Tongues to Mutter,” Jennifer Strange tracks traces of corruption—a fallen soldier’s body, a swarm of ravenous ants—in the “pale business” of our passage “in and out of life.”
April 25, 2012
Like swoops of dark birds settling, anxieties and doubts
weigh the branches, folding huge wings as they land.
Heavy, broody, and fidgeting, they’ve moved in,
building their awkward nests like clots in the trees,
black twigs jutting. Clouds will pass, but the mass
of sooty bodies walls off the sky, the stars, any heavenly light.
A clatter rises, intensifies, dense as rifle fire in a war zone,
clogging the air with stabbing, phony accusations
and arguments that sound irrefutable. It’s clear
these intruders plan to take over, reproducing their own
dark-feathered kind. They’ve driven out
the nesting doves, colonizing all the trees.
I try a clap, and a loud shout, to dislodge them.
Either they can’t hear it or they take it for applause.
Their harsh voices promote anarchy, disruption.
They join the local militia. To clear the air, to see
the sun again, I cry for an invasion of
a different kind from beyond far, deeper than in.
Luci Shaw is a poet, essayist, teacher, and Writer in Residence at Regent College, Vancouver. Widely anthologized, her writing has appeared in Image, Weavings, Books & Culture, the Christian Century, Relief, Rock & Sling, Ruminate, Radix, Crux, the Southern Review, Stonework, The Other Journal, Nimble Spirit, and others. Harvesting Fog, her thirtieth book, was released in 2010. For further information visit www.lucishaw.com.