When I imagine man a captive bear
Shuffling rhythmical unknowing feet to feet
Caught in the dumb trance polka of the street;
I think of Blake, struck face-down on the Felpham path,
Lightning burning through his skull;
Of Shakespeare, self-surprising ancient conjuror;
And of that one once hammered
Like a lily to a splintered cross.
If we could do as they do,
Send to wrack this lack of trembling, swim the flame,
Then, forked and poxed and wobbling though we are,
We could uprise and solitary storm the passes,
We might be lightning; be the song Dodonic birds have sung
From age to age to age to evermore:
Failing this, I humbly remain,
A hum of wire, too taut to sing, too rigid to unbow;
A voice whining in static;
An upturned pot of ink.
A dumb paw shuffling tunelessly over this letter.
-- Stephen K. Roney