English poetry

Poems in English

Landscape At The End Of The Century

The sky in the trees, the trees mixed up
With what’s left of heaven, nearby a patch
Of daffodils rooted down
Where dirt and stones comprise a kind
Of night, unmetaphysical, cool as a skeptic’s
Final sentence. What this scene needs
Is a nude absentmindedly sunning herself
On a large rock, thinks the man fed up
With nature, or perhaps a lost tiger,
The maximum amount of wildness a landscape
Can bear, but the man knows and fears
His history of tampering with everything,
And besides to anyone who might see him
He’s just a figure in a clearing
In a forest in a universe
That is as random as desire itself,
His desire in particular, so much going on
With and without him, moles humping up
The ground near the daffodils, a mockingbird
Publishing its cacaphonous anthology,
And those little Calvinists, the ants,
Making it all the more difficult
For a person in America
To close his office, skip to the beach.
But what this scene needs are wisteria
And persimmons, thinks the woman
Sunning herself absentmindedly on the rock,
A few magnificent words that one
Might want to eat if one were a lover
Of words, the hell with first principles,
The noon sun on my body, tempered
By a breeze that cannot be doubted.
And as she thinks, she who exists
Only in the man’s mind, a deer grazes
Beyond their knowing, a deer tick riding
Its back, and in the gifted air
Mosquitos, dragonflies, and tattered
Mute angels no one has called upon in years.

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Poem Landscape At The End Of The Century - Stephen Dunn