for Ann Lauterbach

The lamb couldn’t become an iamb
   much to my sorrow, much
to the lamb’s relief. My teacher said
   the ocean hid in anapests,
in the lull of the wave, in the lull
   of the prepositional phrase—
in dreams bright children drown
   diagramming sentences,
dependent on a dependent clause
   for rudder through the rapids,
mesmerized by the solar asterisk
   spinning in the eddy with the
gathering foam, dimly aware
   something remains to be said,
in a, of a, for a, with a, for a, of a, in a
   field of asphodel
their mothers
hear from the dark room’s open door
   in the middle of the night.
Or just one child. Just his mother.
   Just that bedroom an earthquake
could destroy, or a fire burn, just
   that room where, behind closed
eyes, the fire burns, the earth shakes,
   and not a book falls off the shelf,
and not a page is aflame, though
   in the air the scent is singe
of the moon on fire once again.
   In a cave a goddess in echoes
sobs at her son’s fate as her son
   walks into the ocean to wash
the blood from his wrath. Imagine
   in dactyls what the hand can do
it still can do and does worse
   than imagining can fathom.
It can be gentle, too. The mind
   couldn’t become pyrrhic,
much to my sorrow, much to my
   delight. The horse galloping
now in green trochees across the field
   also beds down in a meadow
unseen, its haunch flinching in dream.
   Quickened at external relations
the heart has its spondees that slow
   blood down into thought, slow
into memory so vivid it feels as you
   draw hand to chest your heart
might stop beating. But it’s just an idea
   of death. Not death itself. Not
that drone inside silence so different
   than chaos, like the blue-shift
of quasars inching backward through
   time, like the sun in bronze
on an ancient ring, or a bee hanging
   golden on a hook within the ash
within the urn. The pollen won’t
   quit gathering inside the poem.
Subject to what does not exist
   my teacher told me to submit.
The mind-wings hum in tune, in time.
   Mother, all I want is honey in a hive.

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

Heroisms, 4, 5


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. 


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