PART OF WHERE THE POEM CAME FROM
Emotions: Powerlessness, empathy, tenacious in face of futility
HYMN OF THE BIG WHEEL
By the canal, a boat is moored.
It rests without sails, like an old
Dutch painting, windless and stationary.
The path by the creek winds
with the rush of spring, opened
up by bird song. My russet dog
sniffs a trail of all those who came
before – inhaling the weight of centuries.
He runs as free as a soul released
from a body. When I walk with him
in these strange, long, heavy days
I feel the same. A sympathetic
displacement of myself into a
dog’s body, some kind of
The crunch and snap of twigs
underfoot and I’m back in a café
at a time when we could sit face
to face, convene over a coffee
wait all day for what we needed
lean in a little closer.
The way the earth leans
now, on its axis
so I can hear you breathing
all of you, out there
in your silences.