ANGEL OF THE NORTH


Astonishing the air -
wings-up alert as if just landed
out of the invisible's so much greater realm

and yet rooted as only presence can be
dwarfing the small hill become its base
above bushes in their sunlit spring-yellowing blaze
set against blue sky on this postcard...

And then who are you, bird-man, with your faceless face
your wing-struts stretched as wide as a jumbo jet's -
and the androgynous line of your body
rippling into solid merged gale - withstanding feet
where the weathered steel becomes wood so nearly breathing ?

In one pair of eyes, for as long as it takes
to begin to absorb the amaze of you, I want to say
you are more purely here than we may know
not only created and cast, winched and hefted, inch by inch
but as a Being in the guise of the earth
and all our folly you stand beyond, transforming it
in the standing shape of your vigil

- as the road swings, as the camera pans,
in the flight of any bird's wings, around you -

and not as crucifixion now, but witness
to the greater world you announce that never leaves us
however ridiculous we are
waiting and waiting for us to awaken
and scale the hill-mound's tiny distance to you, for always.

2001

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