All I Can Have are Field Recordings of the Field

I can never have the field. I can never halve the
field, make a helix of my hands and hold the
halves

like pictures of the field—or fields—and affix one
feeling to the fields—or the infinite field—and stay
that way

I can walk down to the bog, the field
under-foliate-feet, in a bloodflow motion towards
the beating

of the bullfrogs’ black-lacteous tactile pool and
listen to the unilluminable below-surface stirring,

gravid ruckus of drooling purr and primordial bluebrown
blur. I can aggravate the grating godhood and glisten

of preening slime—its opaque, plumbeous,
tympanic slurps—an inside-outside alertness
bur-bur-bur-bur-

burrowing, harping with pings and plops
(lurches), and make the mossy froth go
berserk with silence,

then foofaraw when the bog in the field senses I am
nothing to fear. I can hear amphibious amour fou
pulsing

under a blue-green gasoline film, spongiform but
formless, boiling with blotched air-bubble let-go, life
fumping

the surface in slicks of upward rain and glossopalatine
pops and liquid crop circles. I can stop here and
listen

in time with the bobolink and make my bel
memento, my untremendous tremolo and
rinky-dink dictation.

In the fable, the animal smells fear and so does the
fool. I think to myself—in my skull’s skeletal
bell-shape—

I am both. I am both. I am both, and I can hold it
together.

Related Poems

Crannog

Where an ash bush grows in the lake
a ring of stones has broken cover
in this summer's drought.
Not high enough to be an island,
it holds a disc of stiller water
in the riffled lake.

Trees have reclaimed the railway line behind us;
behind that, the road goes east—
as two lines parallel in space and time run away from us
this discovered circle draws us in.
In drowned towns
bells toll only for sailors and for the credulous
but this necklace of wet stones,
remnant of a wattle Atlantis,
catches us all by the throat.

We don't know what beads or blades
are held in the bog lake's wet amber
but much of us longs to live in water
and we recognise this surfacing
of old homes of love and hurt.

A troubled bit of us is kin
to people who drew a circle in water,
loaded boats with stone,
and raised a dry island and a fort
with a whole lake for a moat.

Black Marsh Eclogue

Although it is midsummer, the great blue heron
holds darkest winter in his hunched shoulders,
those blue-turning-gray clouds
rising over him like a storm from the Pacific.

He stands in the black marsh
more monument than bird, a wizened prophet
returned from a vanished mythology.
He watches the hearts of things

and does not move or speak. But when
at last he flies, his great wings
cover the darkening sky, and slowly,
as though praying, he lifts, almost motionless,

as he pushes the world away.