I’m trying to put out two books of poetry to various writing contests. One has been submitted to a number of places and got some good feedback (and a lot of the poems in it have been published already). That’s “Building a Fire.” The other is a book of poetry that has lots of new poems in it, “Physics as a Cure for Grief,” and yes, I used that title for an essay a couple of years ago. It works for the poetry, too.
But I found this poem recently online, (on the Lake Literary Magazazine) that I forgot about. Always liked this one. It went to a lot of place before it got published 🙂
The Inuit hide beneath shaggy deer
throw rocks at the ripples of fire in the sky
trying to disguise their restless fear
savage discontent with the celestial light show,
which rents the dark like a streetwalker’s candle,
whose never measured sound reverberates
across the ground and shakes
the frozen landscape.
Lately, life has been tough. The animals
hide, resisting their duty to become food,
relinquishing their lives only under duress
and it seems there are less and less of them
to go around. They are always bound for someplace else.
Men of science suddenly appear
frightening away the skittish deer,
Set up their gear and begin to tune their dials,
lonely boys on a Saturday night.
After a while, they shrug and say
We heard no sound in the sky today.
We’ll try again tomorrow.
The Inuit don’t like the science boys.
They fear the wrath of the creator of lights.
Who knows what magic their fiddling will bring?
An end to the false lights of men.
Those who are sick will get sicker still
and the streets will darken in Montreal
because these boys and their instruments
never get the station right at all.
The Inuit rub thumb and forefinger high
imagine the lights rising in the sky
away from all those prying eyes
and in the dark they plainly hear
the sound of the lights,