Deficient in Descartes,
humiliated by Hume,
spun around by Spinoza,
cancelled by Kant—
but the sky is still blue,
and the clouds are still white.
Not often, but sometimes, a poem
comes like a pocketknife
laid in the palm of my hand.
I only have to thumb open the blade,
already honed and stropped,
and cut away what is not the poem
—thoughts that ramble and
words and phrases too weak
to speak for themselves.
Clouds gathered and erased the sun,
scattered light rain fell,
and that’s how it would start.
The prophets at darksky.net spoke of that,
and colliding storm fronts in the Southern skies.
They did not speak of the hatchling hawks
six stories up in a house made of sticks not stones,
of the wet sky as it falls on them.
In their prescient warning of tonight’s prehistoric firmament,
loud and bright, turbulent winds untwisting things,
no mention of them, the rain that might come sideways for them,
those two with fuzzy heads covered in white kitten fur.
I’ve been watching them on bright days with Nikon 10x50s.
O, Whitman, sir, will these two be yet
self-balanced against the night’s contingences?
Will they also suffer silently the rebuke of a Gulf Coast
cold front meeting warm moist air,
that wild confrontation, as you say the trees and animals will?
The mother oak will be okay with her deep-clinging roots,
and the burrowing and the crawling and creeping things.
Not even a mention for fowl of the air, these red-shouldered youth,
tonight more prey than predators, without
feathers to kite the abyss and bring them
back from where they’ve been.
Or is it just me, the one who’s been focusing my lens on their innocence?
And, in truth, through it all will their growing hearts keep easy rhythm
with the pulsing stars above midnight’s bad weather?
Is it just my anthropomorphic dread, until Thursday
brings back severe sunshine,
and cooler nights under a waning crescent moon?
Still, I do hope for the real hawks, those other two,
with curving and razored yellow beaks and talons
that catch the life out of the unlucky below, who
come and feed their young nestlings live vipers so they
will grow fierce and strong like them—
I do hope they cup their wide wings around these two,
and snuggle their little ones tonight.