I came across "Distances" in Michael Hettich's Flock & Shadow: New and Selected Poems [811.6 HET]. What an interesting mix of large and small ideas--distances and birds. After reading it, do you experience wonder? Hope, or hopelessness? Does it make you laugh, or leave you with a pervasive sadness?
have shrunk the guest lecturer informed us,
to half their former dimensions, in only
the past ten years or so, and so,
to keep things balanced, we must use different
instruments to measure things, and different concepts
of measurement, new tools--or time itself
may be thrown off kilter, and we may well find
we've already lived our entire lives,
we're already dead and buried!
Everyone nodded and pondered and took notes.
Someone raised a hand. I could hear birds
singing, even through the sealed window, and I
wished I could identify species by song,
and I wondered how many birds live here, how many
pass through this city on their bi-yearly
journeys, how many different kinds
of song I'd have to memorize before
I could know them all by heart.
Visit Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for this week's Round-Up of poetry postings.
Photo by dsb nola