E
Oct/Nov 2007 Poetry

Accidental Oracles

by Daniel Barbiero


Accidental Oracles

The ridges stretch
Red and orange
Beyond green memory.
We have nothing to do with it,
With the clouds,
Icy white sculptures
Of the pagan gods
Moving slowly across the vault
Of an imaginary dome.

The world isn't the sum
Of what we transcribe of it.
The catalpa leaves, rusting
Yellow at the edges,
Are no works of rhetoric
Or trick of notation.
Though we see the visible
By what isn'tó
Something heard dimly,
The rustle of leaves dry
Under green branches,
The invented world of forms,
Imagined vanishing point
Just past the horizon
Where we are adepts
At reading nonfiction
In the fictions
That make a world.
Fleshing out the bones
Of water, fire, earth, and air
And their indifference to us,
Who would see through language
To the pulpy wood and mat of vines
Bordering the understory.

 

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