A Coney Island of the Mind, 11
The wounded wilderness of Morris Graves is not the same wild west the white man found It is a land that Buddha came upon from a different direction It is a wild white nest in the true mad north of introspection where ‘falcons of the inner eye’ dive and die glimpsing in their dying fall all life’s memory of existence and with grave chalk wing draw upon the leaded sky a thousand threaded images of flight It is the night that is their ‘native habitat’ these ‘spirit birds’ with bled white wings these droves of plover bearded eagles blind birds singing in glass fields these moonmad swans and ecstatic ganders trapped egrets charcoal owls trotting turtle symbols these pink fish among mountains shrikes seeking to nest whitebone drones mating in air among hallucinary moons And a masked bird fishing in a golden stream and an ibis feeding ‘on its own breast’ and a stray Connemara Pooka (life size) And then those blown mute birds bearing fish and paper messages between two streams which are the twin streams of oblivion wherein the imagination turning upon itself with white electric vision refinds itself still mad and unfed among the hebrides
from A Coney Island of the Mind, copyright ©1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
Poet and translator Lawrence Ferlinghetti is the author of more than thirty books of poetry and the founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco, California.
Date Published: 1958-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/coney-island-mind-11