To Gain Second Sight


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TO GAIN SECOND SIGHT

Lie down in a wheatfield, he said. Know something

well as a cloud rim, like Gould’s Spirituals,

how they alter every time a new choir sings,

yet stay the same. Like the first winter snow

 

settling onto a dark driveway. . . a painting by Thomas Cole

you stare at until your fingertips start screaming

“Stop being incredible!” Pull apart rainbows.

Lie down in a wheatfield, he said, know something

 

so many miles from yourself it turns astonishing

as Michigan’s Black Octagonal River, as in Idaho

how the Palouse heads off, rolls back, everything looking

well as a cloud rim, like Gould’s Spirituals

when the voices shift, tremolo, vertigo, undertow

before they crash upon God. You’ve been spiraling

out of a nightmare. Calm yourself. Go Largo

(How it alters every time a new choir sings!),

 

skip Allegro, halt Presto. Lost Soul, you need to bring

yourself up short, gaze around, until your shadow

lengthens into the night oaks, into stenciling,

yet stays the same, like the first winter snow

 
twenty, forty, sixty years ago—even now

sleighride beautiful. Eat marmalade. Wear calico. Don’t fling

your final rosebuds into some death row.

Reject long-suffering. Learn quiet, quieting.

Lie down in a wheatfield.

 

 

-Dick Allen

Categories: Poems & PhotosTags: , ,

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