Jared Carter – Five Poems
See them revolving, these brothers,
lofting their kicks,
Rebounding, coming together,
always more quick
And capricious. Confronted, one
Yet doubles back; suddenly spun,
Then attacks. Gradually they find,
A balancing not in the mind
but in the air.
But do they matter? Who can say
if words we leave
Behind will last? Should we betray
The few still bent on asking why?
And score a world that has no sky,
then slowly chip
The dross away. Beneath that rain
of steady blows
What stays is not what might explain
but what can show.
They made it up years afterward –
their boasts about
Bronze shields, and spears of ash, and swords
that could carve out
A man’s insides. We chanced to meet
alone, far from
The line of ships. He seemed quite sweet
without his chums.
We talked awhile, and slowly stripped
off all our gear.
They left that part out of the script.
But never fear.
What did you find, hidden away
in those pages?
Dried leaves, yellowed clippings that say
it was ages
Ago, this marriage, that death. Now,
snippets of lace
And ribbon come unglued. Somehow
the faintest trace
Of color left by a flower
of red clover
Marks a poem you once spent hours
In a trance from the beginning,
then as now – white
Water casting sudden spinning
whorls of light
Among the rocks, canyon falling
No clear passage, no one calling
at your elbow
Knows the channel. With that balance
still beneath you,
Steer the bow, until the same trance
shows the way through.
Author’s Statement on Beauty
I give up. I have no idea what beauty is or how it might be defined. But I am intrigued by what St. Augustine said about it: “Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.”
Jared Carter’s sixth collection, Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, was published in 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press. He lives in Indiana. More at: www.the-growler.com.