The Poetry Project

Logan February


What plagued me in the plague year:
what life burns within me,

of what am I made, shaped into—I saw
in all things, my own transient being.

Quick hummingbirds in the shrubs,
a sign for me alone. A monarch butterfly

of flickering blue, the wind persuading
twigs of forsythia to sway and sway,

despite their obvious grief. All of these
called out to me. Two black hawks

perched on power lines overhead,
then one took flight.

After orchestrating my loneliness, I saw
myself as houseplant—ego green

with bruising, my succulent desire
stolen by year-long midnights. I saw myself

in what light? Is noiseless terror
still terror?
Without a source, was I still

or moving? And whose would be the hand
to water me by morning? No hand signalled

for my frantic music to slow, even though
it disturbed the quiet. Even now, it swells.

Almond Blossom, Vincent van Gogh, February 1890

Against a blue sky 
there can be no thrashing, 
no wailing, no flailing 
of the painter's instrument 
—the hands. Broken, 
all of it: the dream of hot stars 
filling a bedroom, being trapped
inside, the sleep itself, 
a waste  of common things. 
You dreamed me 
a single wisp of smoke, 
the last of these days, 
a kiss of apocalypse 
ending. You spoke softly 
as you slept: 
The weather here is 
changeable, often windy 
with turbulent skies, but 
the almond trees are beginning 
to flower everywhere.
Wake up, Vincent! 
Look from your window, look 
around you. Look! 
Spring comes running towards us, 
through the rain, long skirt flying across
our youth of white flowers. 
We will grow them in this empty space,
this new world, the turbulent everywhere.

Love and all alive in the garden

after Heather Christle

In the field of my vision you were naked,

Crouched there in the estival light, close

Enough that my hands, if my eyes were closed,

Would still fall on you, and not a blue head of flax,

Not a cornflower, not a foxglove, not a dog-

Violet, but you, with your makings of breath,

Your lessons on being born as an animal 

Again, the one for whom the soul is a thing

That happens, a singular howl, to learn this world 

By noise, by touch, by feeling—I was paying attention.

Issue 17