A Poet a Day 22: Scot Siegel
Day 22 brings us Oregon poet Scot Siegel, with a poem entitled “Autumn Turns Through Stratified Wars.” The poem previously appeared in The New Verse News, October, 2009, and will appear in Scot’s forthcoming collection, Skeleton Says (© 2010, Finishing Line Press).
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE POEM
Scot starts off with a musing that seems very tied to the moment and place, but by the fourth stanza, we sense that we are about to shoot off elsewhere. Soon all color is gone from the sky, and sounds that a moment ago arrived in a breeze seem to come in a rumble. The poem concludes with a reminder that we are all being summoned to the same end.
Autumn Turns Through Stratified Wars
A few little leaves alight on the sleeper wind
lemon, iron-orange, vermilion
but there’s no dive-swiping gnat-catching tonight
Some songbirds sense the slack-season upon us
stillness readies the river, trees glimmer
and we lean uneasily into the quiet . . .
Three warblers balance on one blackberry cane
not ordinary warblers, yellow-breasted chats
gone silent in the breeze––
There’s no yellow chip; no whistle, caw, nor rattle
just three imperceptible heartbeats screaming
through silver thorns & bramble––
Is their night not unlike our country?
Somewhere, a raptor hovers, drags her talons
over Arab neighborhoods, while we lie awake . . .
In my wife’s eyes a blue flame flickers
World News, a helicopter turns, delivering
or receiving the dead . . .
We hardly notice midnight passing over
as we tilt and spin on the dreadful wing of a hawk
Who says she loves us?
Crows on our tail, relentless––
I think I hear one say:
A Poet a Day is a month-long celebration of poets and poetry, in honor of National Poetry Month. Writers reserve all rights to their work, and all work appears with their permission.