Ghazal: Chimerae

First poem, last poem, I told my class tonight. Confession:
I’m always writing that dream book, wandering with its chimeras.

Wind and fog, and then just wind. Silhouettes of goldfinches
indistinguishable from leaves. Then silence like a caesura.

In the Iliad: a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted,
snake behind; goat in the middle, breath from a hot caldera.

Always I’m of more than two minds: heart ravenous as a craw,
mud-burdened as an ox. My real self, vertiginous in the sierras.

It’s late November and the birds come back in droves to Mt. Ampacao.
In darkness, hunters wait: 20 meters of nylon nets strung along the frontera.

From high up, the flush of bonfires must look like dawn; the terraces,
low stone walls against the mountainside, like streaks of dark mascara.

High-pitched cries, vague feathered bodies in the mesh. I’m not there but I
too pan the air: I want what flies, what lifts my pulleys, bones, my aura.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← PetrichorMaguindanao Ghazal →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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