Wednesday Oct 18

MorganRobertRobert Morgan has published fourteen books of poetry, most recently Terroir (Penguin, 2011).  In addition he had published eight books of fiction, including the bestseller Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club selection. He is also the author of three works of nonfiction, most recently Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion. A native of western North Carolina he has taught since 1971 at Cornell University.

Valley Wind

I reckon everybody knows
the pleasing breeze that tends to flow
up slopes on sunny summer days,
as air that’s warmed by solar blaze
reflected lifts up valley sides
and stirs the leaves on towering heights,
a manic rise, a thrill of breath
to soothe the sweltering aftermath
of steady glare. Then as the sun
goes down the wind reverses run,
depresses slow then gathers speed
to sink from peak to valley bed,
the highs now balanced by the sloughs,
chill air from summit altitudes
and stratosphere pushed down
to cool the dew on bottom ground,
promoting sleep in house and den,
in burrow, nest at meadow’s end,
the wind itself bipolar
as many things we know are.

Acoustic Mirror

A seashell seems to hold the sound
and movement of the ocean, grand
inside the small, the roar of blood,
of tides in veins of salty flood
behind the listener’s ear, the pulse
both hot and tropical in us,
the rushing to and fro within,
the streams of gushing and return,
that echo reefs of ancient seas,
contained within the arteries,
and answering our source, the womb,
now magnified in conch shell dome.

Periodic Table

Is this the calendar of all
creation where each square within
the grid displays another stage
of rise or growth of matter out
of chaos, out of light, the bang,
as though the net of lines and signs,
in this reticulation could
haul in the catch of time itself,
as if the specimens of mass
were blocks with labels printed on
to stack up neatly as the world
or chessboard of the elements,
the universe complete from birth
to scattered cinders at the end
beyond the death of energy,
in this one table of the whole,
or our conjecture of the all?