Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tim Laffey- Two Poems


The titmouse is not a giraffe.*
though many commonalities are found
at the cellular level of
their biological construction.

Wrung from sunshine by green
food plants, energy transforms,
in the one instance, into a knobby head,
tawny spotted, wobbling atop that outstretched
neck held high above those
improbably thin legs.  Variance,
in the other case, results in
two small wings and two clawed legs,
a short curved beak, its
petite head graced
by a sprung grey crest
of feathers, others fanning over its
rust colored flanks are flecked
with black adornments.

Each, by differently ordering
old words, has arrived
at an entirely new sentence.
Each, in their separate fashion,
one by flight, one by reaching further,
has leveraged
some opportunities posed by height
and so survives
into the modern era.

Each is not
the other.

*(Note in passing, the titmouse
is a bird and not a mouse, as our word for it
might otherwise seem to indicate.)

a kind man

he was a small
man, not tall, but
assuredly had
big ideas. he’d
try to tell you
some, but only
if forced,
when backed
into a corner. he
was a quiet, a shy
man, also a sad
one, saddened
most by knowing
no one word
or possible
combination of
words was ever
likely to be big
enough to hold
his big ideas.
he said animals
have only the
number of words
their minds can
manage, while
we have many
more than we
can usefully
and yet we say
so little of
significance. he
was a largely
quiet man
which allowed
him to be
a kind man.

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