Poetry / June 2016 (Issue 32)

Two Poems

by Chip Dameron


The chicks broke their shells
and found enough nourishment

to thrive, dazzling the world
with feats of supple prowess,

lights and colour and synchronicity
sparking their electric chirping,

two weeks of constant flapping
and then gone into the dusk.

The twisting steel twigs still gleam,
sun or smog, weaving memory

and desire into a latticework of what
is surely original, modern, but

hollowed by the ghostly shapes
of hutongs now obliterated.



When the stones of the Great Wall
once littered the fields, some workers

turned from their tasks and heard
what the rising sun promised

and the fermenting earth answered,
womb to grain, fruit, and the birds

flying toward death, and then
their voices became the wind’s voice,

turning earth, sun, and bird
into vigorous tales that entered

the dreams of men and women
and woke them out of the dark,

air cold as a mountain stream,
where fish melted into the shadows.


 Chip Dameron's seventh collection of poems, Drinking from the River: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2015, was published in 2015. He has recently placed poems in Eastlit, Poetry Pacific, and Langdon Review.

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