November 16, 2010

M. Quickmon Willis

DRIVING INTO DUSK

for Willie James King

Along the back-roads
short-cut home, the sun
on the brink of something
catastrophic, a sabotage or
suicide of sorts, that daily
death of this world’s only
phoenix. Our beloved star
bedding down again, like
some beast of the field,
in brilliant conflagration
just beyond the brake:
scrub oak, dogwood, pine
and ash, evening gathering
as in nets the final hues
of a far-distant burning. Doom
and delight, sun and wood,
wed on the verge of this
last night. Then a mist,
as if mist were always part
of living, an exhalation,
as from a censer, deep
underground and hugging
this unexpected view.
And four cows, or rather
four silhouettes of cows
standing round like compass
points in disarray, no more
substantial than that vast
nothingness between stars.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2005

__________

M. Quickmon Willis: “There are no losses! Not really. If handled with care, the manure of life makes the dandiest fertilizer, and the good, a path to awakening wonder. My passions are the musicality and evocative powers of language. But they are also my responsibility, first and foremost, to the Giver of all good gifts to whom I am supremely grateful.”