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Animal Psalms.

Animal Psalms


   When the city finally stopped and the road, pockmarked with rain
   and paper, summoned up grass like a demon
   and all the cars along the M4 west to Lucan and Cabra were spent as
   Things became as they were.


   Chrysanthemums in the windows. Cats along beds of scratched oak
   tables. On the mounted colonnades and white stone
   face of the general post office, a thick slime of lichen smeared
   its way, decadent as cancer, through a cracked pane of glass.


   Everything was as it should. And how like the flies and rooks on
   Green, the flood water took Saint Stephen's.
   A jungle of chairs and wheels sending yellow flakes into the sky
   and a great parade of wings to match the butterfly.


   And the Mater Private too, just northeast of Eccles and then again
   northeast of the Basin where, five-fingered, the blind
   glove lies across a fine dust of mildew and latex; the soiled
   shelves obscene with mucous traps. The floor with syringes and
   cotton balls.


   And how, like everything, the great oaks and fruits and foxgloves
   and ragweed of two day's rain emerged from slabs
   on South Parnell; a snake found amidst the foliage and rubble,
   subtle as a high-thrown watermark, and beckoning from up the
   tree-trunk like a wisp.
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Author:Patterson, James
Publication:James Dickey Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2014
Previous Article:Chrysopoeia: metaphysical reflections on transformation in James Dickey's "The Owl King".
Next Article:James Dickey: In Touch With Darkness.

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