Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Poetry Wednesday 23 Oct 13

Toxic Vision

by Patrick Loafman

Clouds, steel gray as the sides of salmon, brushed themselves
against the swollen bellies of mountains, and the full moon fell
into the river and sizzled.

Then I was hiking somewhere upriver to where bearded old men
become spruce trees, until everything became too vivid
and I collapsed, falling to the skin of the earth, my head rattling
the bells of chocolate lilies, their tongues oozing nectar into my ear.

Beneath the bitter umbrellas of oxalis, I could see stardust and red mites.
Moss braided itself into a green rope, and I climbed further down this toxic
vision, turning glistening pages of liverworts, shattered wings of cicadas,
searching the undersides of the smallest leaves for a window or a mirror.

I kept descending down this green rope into smaller and smaller forests,
into the gray tangle of mycelia. Maybe, I imagined, this is death’s journey,
to enter the earth’s pores like water.

Patrick Loafman is an author, wildlife biologist and artist.  This poem is adapted from a paragraph from his new novel Somewhere Upriver.  Read more about his novel, see his gourd art and watch videos of him playing gourd musical instruments at

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