Do Not Send

Do not send the poets
to build your mighty streets
for we will follow stream’s meander
and bend aside for the cities of ants.

Do not send the poets
to clean your house
for we are apt to pause, enraptured
by the fall of dust through light, and sing
‘o, there am i, o there am i, o there’ while
the dwelling moulders on, unpolished.

Much less could you trust us to number the stars, on a deadline
for the First Poet is out there still, counting, pausing, considering
the ways the score of  heaven’s song, in points of light, invites extempo-
rizing singing, point and counterpoint, crescendo, super nova, trill.
But least of all send the poets to war.
We hate it; and we are lazy in our bones
we prefer to malinger, delay death’s embrace
after all, between stars, dust and wayfinding
we have material in surfeit through which yet                                                                             to weave our grubby little breathless craft.

Furthermore, we are victims of elegant arc
and if we want blood, it must dance arabesque
– we’d be bastards at torture, let none disagree –
but the drive to destruction? we insist on degrees
and on time to enjoy the ride.

We are cowards, if you must know, even our hearts
must be offered in words, words our deeds.
And we are bound up in rhythms, enthralled to the Song.
We would only take the field of war under duress
had we nothing left to lose, no less
we would go at it with all our exquisite rage
– it was a poet distilled the fury of stars into a weapon first –
so do not look for the poets on the battlefield.
We would raze the world, accepting no yield
save the end of the Song.

In the silence after, the First Poet would be found
now, poetically Last,
gazing in wonder at the ghosts of the dust of stars, seeing
in this as much beauty as in Life, all of it Song.

First published January 7, 2015 on prairiepomes.com

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