Partial Birth ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written August 9th, 2008

Listen here to my reading of “Partial Birth” 

 

Someone big took an ax, and chopped the moon
Exactly in half, the surviving truncation
Fleeing across the star-mangled heavens,
And making the whole below-world vivid
With silvery graininess.  After that,
Everything became important, and a
Strange music burst from the pores of leaves.
A desperate contest was raging, the fight
Conducted through surrogates, gigantic
Horses lying at the feet of each of the four
Combatants: One, wounded, and breathing
Heavily; one, in the throes of birth; one,
Laughing, and only cloudily visible;
And one, a female, rising in dangerous
Flight.  What happened from then on was
Both beautiful and deadly, brutal and filled
With magic.  A drum snare, a crash,
The woman returning with arrows.
The cloudy one becoming someone
We once knew.  The horse on the ground,
Disemboweled now, and screaming.
The pregnant one delivering an animal
Full-grown and wet with dew.  We wake up,
Cowled in placental sweat.  Everything
In the house is galactic, and small, and quiet.
Yet something decisively brings us to our feet.
We go outside.  And there, in the grass,
Is the other half of the moon.

Baptismal Voyage ©

By Roy Dean Doughty

Written September 25th, 2009

Listen here to my reading of “Baptismal Voyage”

 

Sometimes the body’s destiny begins to reveal
Itself: the pump of the heart, the elastic tributaries
Of the nerves, the imperative verbs, which spark
In the intricate brain — all turn together,
And point in one direction. The limbs ask:
Why did these gifts of sudden being and lack,
These interchanges of cellular ambrosia,
Awake this morning from a nightmare of dirty flooding
To find the blues and grays of the scrub jay
Swooping their lights through dawn’s green magnifications,
Its body of sky and water inside our own?
Lovers know the childish giddiness of touching,
The rhythms of the text that can make even ecstasy
Cut through the curing ceremonials of trust, when lip
Entrances lip, through speech, through kiss.
Oh how the despair finally tears us free,
With all of its roiling contradictory currents,
How all this breathing in one turbulent place
Makes harmonies of birds and woundable bodies,
Who in the midst of life are buried at sea.