Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Moment with Jim Harrison

Here's a quick morning poem from our old Michigan friend, Jim Harrison. This originally appeared in The Theory & Practice of Rivers (Winn Books, 1986), and can be found in The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 1998).


What if it were our privilege
to sculpt our dreams of animals?
But those shapes in the night
come and go too quickly to be held
in stone: but not to avoid those shapes
as if dreams were only a nighttime
pocket to be remembered and avoided.
Who can say in the depths of
his life and heart what beast
most stopped his life, the animals
he watched, the animals he only touched
in dreams? Even our hearts won't beat
the way we want them to. What
can we know in that waking,
sleeping edge? We put down
my daughter's old horse, old and
arthritic, a home burial. By dawn with eye
half-open, I said to myself is
he still running, is he still running
around, under the ground?


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