Heroisms, 4, 5

4.

I speak these words directly into his yawn

Open cave of
                    his dark almost kind
                                                  of fire-lit mouth 


And the shadows there my words form these shadows
In the back of the hero's throat

A world we applaud where chained to the ground
We watch the trees walk past us. There are other ways to describe the year:

Seasons of
The hero's boredom. 


5.

Where the horror is comparison, honor sees
Hands in the trees instead of leaves—

Honesty asks why the applause is so quiet
When the wind blows so hard—

Breath is the atmosphere at utmost extreme
Where the lungs are flowers—thought the dew—

The sun doubts everything, a general statement
In whose light the hero sees these helpless things

Beg mercy, beg darkness for obscurity—
We do not comprehend the awe, it comprehends us—

When leaves fold in halves they look sleepy
Like eyes, but these eyes are fists

More by Dan Beachy-Quick

Hariot's Round


     I know, to entice, to convince, I must sing
   Your ear inside stone, must sing
     Gold bitten and true, the corn kernel, one seed, 
       I must plant one gold seed in your mouth with my lips.
Raleigh says: the Queen knows my name. The Crown
       Of a woodpecker is ruby, but shy.
     Inhabitants adorn themselves with feathers, and feathers
   Bright on arrow ends. Bow--before a Queen. Bend closed my book.
The page is deaf that turns back to look at what it found.

This Nest, Swift Passerine [excerpt]

But how find how as it flew onward
& the mountains gave back the sound
to say what I mean the call of the bird
& the echoe after to say I've seen?

Raven hungers and calls and the mountain
Hungers back and calls
The whole range of peaks in the bird's beak.
Raven lonely and the mountain rings
Loneliness & the echoe after we could see
him no longer 

The echo after we could see 	Light in echo the eye sees
also through the ear 		a double infinity

Portrait

You have to walk so close to the mirror
Before your breath clouds the image
You need to get a running start
You need to get a running start
To break through the refrain into repetition
As exile's continuous form forms the same
Words twice thrush thrush
Drab bird unseen in the dark dark's underbrush
Sung from the yeasty mouth

*

From within the cloud the voice sings
The voice is a singing cloud
You have to walk so close to breath 
Before you find the mirror
And then beginning looks just like
Beginning looks just like
What doesn't know how to complete itself
Otherwise 
What is there in saying house bridge fountain

*

bridge fountain gate jug 
jug fruit-tree window there I said them 
All and every all's this same
Cloud's faulty tower is this same 
Cloud's broken column trying to make a point
About breath by mentioning breath
I stand so close to the surface of the thing
I am dumb because I make myself dumb
And then the apples go mute

*

Jug jug
Make no noise
Who will find you in the middle of your breath
And keep whole all you want broken
Someone becomes
Someone again it must be done
Mouth scaring bird from its ever more hidden nest
A surface seems to know something about
Depth depth cannot know about itself

*

Right toward the mirror
Watch it fly as sometimes it does fly
Breath and every cloud
The sky has gotten a running start
It's why the apples ripen even though they hurt
The sky's running start
Let panic return and stand very still
You have to stand very still
Before what is wounded turns around and nears

*

A note plays in the dark
Plays all by itself in the dark just a note
Just a note called escape
What I'm telling you is what I cannot say
Otherwise this
Intimate breath is just another maze
The sun disappears
Inside the apple I mean there is a mirror
In a cloud and right there is your answer

Related Poems

Hero and Leander

Yet in that silver age
A pale boy
The sea god’s love
Came toward a fine and flashing
Monotony; and steam came
From him as from a mechanism
And he came to disregard
The magnetic seasons
As teachers hurry under a tent the heat
Coming toward him even as
He sinks himself further
As if to please again the boring god
It is he! O Leander
Do you come back now,
Or are you just running from
Some sunny girl, for he could see
Now no storm pulling
The waves up to be clipped
As a barber will hold a lock
Then let it fall back shorter
And if no storm then what?
No, hello, I’m just ducking
The waves, we have the day
From school and some went down
To ship but the sun
Was so pestering
I couldn’t think to be on decks
And all this talk the god
Had become the water talking
And looked at his body
Skinny as a flame in smoke
And was around it true as a level
But Leander felt funny and said
I think I hear the motor
I better go and the sea god
Back again to swimming thing thought
Why am I so humble always with this
Slipping thing I’m not a forcing god
Thank goodness think of the menace
To these seas a brake of salt ice
Would be
			On the surface
Leander bobbed a true diver
Tearing in the sun and saw
On shore peeling a giant orange
A girl standing looking out at
The great difference of the waves
Burning in the breakers saw her look
As three black lines on his brow and he
Forgetting the sea-god
Did tricks in the shallows
Which the girl, closer not a girl!
A woman sad and now
Not annoyed not amused
Leander, seeing, dripping as he came
Onto rocky land said May I
Have a piece of that
It was pomegranate and she
Smiled red and said
Here and he was in intense pain
And could not move and she, hearing
They had gathered all the mallows
They wanted for the recital,
Said goodbye and turned away.
I cannot move he said vaguely
Through burning lock of muscle
In his back but she was gone
On a school bus of students
Playing games of prophecy
With paper. O Leander
Came a voice. Leander you will
Burn out there!