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Atavism Analysis



Author: poem of William Stafford Type: poem Views: 16

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1

Sometimes in the open you look up

where birds go by, or just nothing,

and wait.  A dim feeling comes

you were like this once, there was air,

and quiet; it was by a lake, or

maybe a river  you were alert

as an otter and were suddenly born

like the evening star into wide

still worlds like this one you have found

again, for a moment, in the open.





2

Something is being told in the woods:  aisles of

shadow lead away; a branch waves;

a pencil of sunlight slowly travels its

path.  A withheld presence almost

speaks, but then retreats, rustles

a patch of brush.  You can feel

the centuries ripple  generations

of wandering, discovering, being lost

and found, eating, dying, being born.

A walk through the forest strokes your fur,

the fur you no longer have.  And your gaze

down a forest aisle is a strange, long

plunge, dark eyes looking for home.

For delicious minutes you can feel your whiskers

wider than your mind, away out over everything.






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