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Sense and Fire Poem

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Great Great Sense

by Janet Buck



Great Great Sense


It is somewhat
troubling to discover
that the basic rhetoric
of inspiration
works backwards
as well as forward.


Great great sense
sense great great
This whole thing
thing whole this
Church with prayer
prayer with church
In the lurch
lurch the in
Icebergs freeze
freeze icebergs
Get real fast
fast get real
Poem at war
war at poem

It makes one wonder if
our world is
is a fatuous illusion
we’ve created
with our minds.



The Covenant of Guarded Fire


Feel flush calligraphy,
tears are sperm
we treat as germs
on chessboards
of a journal’s terms.
Squirming worms
dressed up in sonnets
(civil suits) as fingers
in a cashmere glove.

The covenant of
guarded fire
in oar-less boats
that cross canals
despite their size.
A fountain of mud
on the River Styx--
Every stanza’s
camel hump--
iambic threads
of pregnant cows
with pockets
screaming to be shook.

Poets check their
winter coats
like saddles in
a summer barn.
Give the horse
of think a bath.
Handle wrath
with twisted reins
and promise souls
a cool drink.


Copyright © 1998 by Janet Buck, All rights reserved

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