Oklahoma Tanka + Ars Poetica

Oklahoma Tanka #1 Ice storm. Close your eyes: the wind through the last high leaves in the trees could be squirrels scouring nutshells or birds pacing limbs, warming themselves. #2 October, summer still a stifling dinner guest. At last, first north wind calls through my window like a rowdy friend: climb out and play. #3 Just east, hundred-year flood made a town an island. Here, parade canceled, we gasped with strangers at the river swallowing its banks. #4 Vacant lot, morning cold a fresh linen…

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Fieldbook of Natural History

When God was handing out physiques, I thought he said antiques and asked for a distressed relic. But seriously, folks. These bodies. Imagine every creature spellbound by its finest feature. A tadpole’s in love with its tail. A mussel prays to its foot. Octopuses of course worship arms but envy the spines of salmon, who raindance in a shower of nerves. Stink is incense to a skunk. Surely a dog thinks God lives in its nose, the stereo scents down the snout always just out of sight. Homo habilis,…

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