Deadlines have been on my mind as my release date approaches for Leaving the Pack.
Most of them are dates made in my own mind, but it’s hard to keep writing inside when there’s so much going on elsewhere.
What is a deadline? And how can one stand
Against the rush of a riffling stream past
Skinny legs of a standing heron over rounded stones,
Against the draw of deep water held behind a weir,
Against the rippling wind whipping through ripening barley,
And expanse of blue sky extending above a verdant plain,
Against the weight of sunlight upon a shoulder,
The swell of one’s chest at the sight of a field full
Of poppies and vetch, fetching delight at feeling,
Beating steady bass against the body, against the
Somniferous drone of bees through the blooms,
For whom the afternoon includes no siesta, or
Press of dancers in a crowded room, screaming
Swirling of swallows, flinging slight bodies against
Flies upon the wing, and insistent singing thrush
Trilling an announcement at all this end of daylight,
Making last flight and call to unseen nest?
How can anything resist the soft accumulation of
Seed cotton drifting down from dangling catkins?
The only dead line is that which marks the death of days,
Staying under sunlight as long as last its rays
Our only object, for the sun will set soon enough,
And the darkness will wash over all that was lit before it.