because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

augury, in the strictest sense

we walk through thunder,
and there are drawn stormclouds

across your cheeks, brow; like train-
tracks to nowhere, and i’ll hop

the next boxcar, simple as un-
wanting, follow it til i find

the sun buried in your irides.
this metaphor is a railroad:

straight, the slow
unraveling of sudden horizons.

a friend tells me
the story of the red-

tail hawk attacked
sequentially by two crows

and a mockingbird. i
wonder if it’s because they know

jealousy like you do, see its predatory
threat atop every lamppost and

telephone pole.
raindrops like fat clay pigeons hiss

against rusted rails, tear-on-trestle,
black-feathered bullets of omen:

where will you be
when the lightning comes down?


13 responses

  1. One of your better gems – way to go my friend.

    June 18, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    • thanks, George. 🙂 it has been too long since i’ve seen you at our various poetry functions… or heard any new writing, mmm?

      June 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm

  2. You use RR a lot. Have you seen film “Emperor of the North ” ?

    June 19, 2012 at 6:59 am

    • Carl, i have not. maybe i should? i live close to several tracks, and so the trains seem to color a lot of my poems…

      June 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm

  3. ihatepoetry

    I loved this – the metaphor of the railroad and the slow unraveling of circumstances. Great.

    June 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

    • thank ya kindly, mosk. always happy to see your gravatar ’round here. 🙂

      June 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  4. nice…some really great touches in this joanna….this metaphor is a railroad…the allusion to the story of the birds…and if they know jealousy like you….evocative, real…like it much…

    June 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

    • ‘preciate it, brian. feel like i’ve been out of it with the writing and posting recently, but that’s passing. seems a while since you’ve been up to rva, no? hope all’s well & whatever sinus infection that was is gone by now.

      June 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

  5. Stormy. Cool transformations of images — clouds, tracks, the birds. The undercurrent of dark feelings, makes one wonder how things will be. Enjoyed this.

    June 21, 2012 at 2:20 am

    • thanks. i’ve been big on birds in particular recently, not sure why. there is a definite darkness to this one though.

      June 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm

  6. A great poem, Joanna. Love it 🙂

    June 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

  7. Love this! This year I have what I call the Indigenous ear for birds, notice the shadows of the big ones on the ground before I look up, etc. The sound of trains I can remember back the farthest. I was asked often to check out the Purple martins of Shockoe Bottom last summer. Some reason I wasn’t interested. If you have the time please let me know when this starts again if it does?

    June 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    • though i didn’t see it, i remember hearing about the purple martins last year, but i don’t remember when it was. :/ i’ll keep my ears open!

      June 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm


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