by Divyasri Krishnan
Outside my window, fields
are burning in the sky. I’ve got a real heartache
for this life.
You know, poet,
if you count that black strip of ground as the sky,
the people as stars flurrying by,
then everything mundane becomes a miracle.
Foxes, furred descendents
of ancient birds.
Red-chested robin with puckered mouth
is an angel failing to fall.
See, as darkness shutters day, the way
she plunges towards the sky-as-ground,
bobs up mournfully home.
I’m tucked somewhere in a tower, witness
to it all. The foxes,
carrying coats of fall foliage across the night,
the velveted library bats, the robin,
this poem, too, unfolding before my eyes.
If you turn the world upside down,
I become a tunnel-dweller, a mole of summer-brown.
I’m a free-loader in God’s
answer to Babel, his own way of reaching out—
This poem, the language driving the point toward the ground.
Poet, what you lengthen and strain for
is already looking for you.
You don’t need construction. You don’t need prayer
or a coaxing of the mind or a song.
The poems you reach for
are falling to meet you. Every tree grows toward the ground.
Poet, you are looking the wrong way. Look down.
About the photographer: Emily Sorensen is an instructor with Outward Bound and a DFA Candidate researching ecological art and performance at the Yale School of Drama, where she earned an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. She likes to go outside and take pictures of trees. @emily.sorensen
This piece absolutely takes my breath away… and more so with each successive reading. I’m placing it in my file of “Favourite Poems,” the ones that have inspired me most. Thank you!!