Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Murray on Peacocks

Here's today's poem from Poetry Daily, by one of my other poetry favorites (along with Ko Un, for example) for the Nobel Prize, Les Murray:

The Hanging Gardens

High on the Gloucester road
just before it wriggles its hips
level with eagles down the gorge
into the coastal hills

there were five beige pea-chickens
sloping under the farm fence
in a nervous unison of head-tufts
up to the garden where they lived

then along the gutter and bank
adult birds, grazing in full serpent.
Their colours are too saturate and cool
to see at first with dryland eyes

trained to drab and ginger. No one here
believes in green deeply enough. In greens
so blue, so malachite. Animal cobalt too
and arrow bustles, those are unparalleled.

The wail lingers, and their cane
surrection of iridium plaques. Great spirits,
Hindoostan in the palette of New Zealand!
They don't succeed at feral.

Things rush them from dry grass.
Haggard teeth climb to them. World birds,
human birds, flown by their own volition
they led us to palaces.

Les Murray
The Biplane Houses
Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Daily Poem final update: 35 votes have now been cast, and one poem is sustaining its lead, but it is not so far ahead that your vote might not make a difference. The most recent vote was cast for the last remaining poem that had not received any votes, so now all 12 poems have at least one vote (and only three have received only one).


John Gallaher said...

Tag, you're it.

Andrew Shields said...

SarahJane already tagged me on that one, so I guess I have to do sixteen things now. I hope nobody else tags me before I get to it, because I am soooo busy!