James Scully  




he thought he’d come home
free, yet finds himself
at the end of the earth

where it is morning, and still
too early—

when the mist burns off,
when sunlight slips
through the ravaged trees
like a gentle hallelujah

he will recognize nothing,
not a bird, not a leaf

it will be as though
he has crossed the River Styx
into life
as he no longer knows it--

a riot of flowers will be
waving wilding their heads at him
like grotesque life forms
demanding to be lopped off

what was dearest
he will feel least for,
what was pastoral
will be most brutal

like a snapping turtle
sticking its long neck
out, to hiss and spit

music will be torture

when he climbs the fence
to walk in green, open
sunny space

his wife, his son
will look up at him
with small, blank stares
like someone else’s sheep




from Oceania 2008

OCEANIA a sheaf of poems Azul Editions 2008.jpg

Oceania a sheaf of poems
 Azul Editions 2008

Woodblock print

Hokusai’s “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”