Two Pieces by Barry Spacks
IN THE GARDEN
Sad in the garden the ugliness
my friend and I clear up near dawn,
grass all fast-food cup and carton,
Budweiser labels glued to the lampposts,
human markings like scats or urine
declaring dominion over a place.
Amid this clutter a long-necked heron
strolls, bulb-body white, head
shaped like Flower-of-Paradise,
back jointed legs picking their way
where trees stretch tall to testify,
where caw of crows is as strong as light,
where golden koi with purple splotches
dart and hover in the pond.
A great white moth homes in on me
beating the screen with battering softness.
My worklight is her promised day,
her God through the dark, or so I guess.
I pause to watch her ceaseless flutter,
body segments jointed-armor,
eyes hot with the killing wish
that nothing but the screen prevents.
She'd burn her little life away,
forbidden at the final inch.
A long-time teacher at M.I.T and U. C. Santa
Barbara, Barry Spacks is the author of various
novels, stories, plus seven poetry collections
(most recent: BRIEF SPARROW, L.A. press Illuminati,
and SPACKS STREET: NEW & SELECTED POEMS,
Johns Hopkins). Since June of '96, many of his
poems have turned up in over a dozen e-zines on
the Net, including previous issues of *Blue