Two or more strands twisted together, Oxides and baser salts, admixture Of carbon, metal of lash and scourge, Strung like a virus, barbed intervals, Stapled by hand to bois d'arc poles, Woven by machine, "devil's rope" Of vast interior plains, Of meadows bruised by their own Amplitude, barbed wire of a thousand Different kinds, undulating loops, Half round and square--Reynold's Web, Preston's Braid, Meriwether's Cold- Weather Wire, Shellaberger's Long Zigzag, Walking Wire, Curtis's Ladder, Visible Lace, Arch and Leaf, Descending Beads, Staple Barb, Open Diamond Point, Sproul's Twins, Elsey's Ribbon, Brink's Buckle, Ellwood's Star, Flute and Rib, Spool and Spurs, Joined Saucers, Tie through Eye, Body Grip, Blake's Knee Grip, Underwood's Tack-- Unloved, unloving; that to name these Does no political good, but as precision Is polemical, against vague statement And circular evasion, as the sharp angle of sun And crossed wires together body forth a spark, It is some kind--cold, unmusical, utterly itself, Keeping cattle in, or the enemies of sheep Out.
From Mozart's Starling, by Ralph Burns, published by Ohio Review Books. Copyright © 1990 by Ralph Burns. All rights reserved. Used with permission.