Another morning in the obscure,
light spackling the clouds rolling in,
running before some storm.The sky flattened like an unstamped envelope.
The local predators must have been sleeping in.
It was early November, songbirdsoff on winter hols, swifts
racketing down the chimney.
A lone walker happened through the scene,more shadow than man, the sort Tiepolo
might have finished off with a brush-
stroke, with perhaps a splash of red for a hat.A fiddlehead lifted the burden of new life,
relaxing like an uncoiled spring.
The air was still, as if yet had lost its claim.
Copyright © 2018 by William Logan
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Plume is a magazine dedicated to publishing the very best of contemporary poetry. To that end, we will be highly selective, offering twelve poems per monthly issue. A provisional indication of our tastes — “what we are looking for” — may be inferred from the quoted passages (which will change often): a sense of the uncanny, foremost, and of the fineness of language, the huge absences to which it points and partakes of, and the urgency and permanence of its state of departure — the coattails forever — just now — disappearing around the corner…
The title of our review suggests several elements that in one way or another find kinship in our little adventure: Aside from the fact of its French definition — and not forgetting l’homme de plume — these include:
— in English, the feather with which one adorns oneself or bestows on another, whose topmost barbicels when trailed across a bare forearm or unguarded nape make its owner’s skin crawl and leap with delight;
— the name of Henri Michaux’s ephemeral and paradoxical prose poem figure;
— and the glancing blow of surrealism in Breton’s famous reaction upon finding himself in the presence of beauty: “a plume of wind at the temples.”