American (Field Guide)

SONY DSC

watercolor  by Mary Shephard

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The American

April 4, 2017 (Field Guides)

American

I am a continent
surrounded by two mighty oceans

a middling zone
feet at equator

skies with moon and sun;
earthly mountains and vales

dessert creatures underground
flower blossoms blowing in the wind

majestic and humble
all at once an altar for my God.

quicksilver
all rights

Field Guide
Once, in the cool blue middle of a lake,
up to my neck in the most precious element of all,
I found a pale-gray, curled-upwards pigeon feather
floating on the tension of the water
at the very instant when a dragonfly,
like a blue-green iridescent bobby pin,
hovered over it, then lit, and rested.
That’s all.
I mention this in the same way
that I fold the corner of a page
in certain library books,
so that the next reader will know
where to look for the good parts.
Tony Hoagland
in Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty

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