Hobble Creek Review
Eagle (Letter from my Aunt)
for Barbara Robbins
It's been sitting there an hour, watching
huge flocks of ducks in sunrise.
I saw a pair come in, but now
there's only the one in the tree.
How can I go out to do laundry
without disturbing it?
Two deer went through the yard
last night when we weren't peeking.
Their tracks surround the bird feeder,
though it's empty. Time for a refill.
We expect cold for a few more days,
watching ice form along the shoreline.
For generations, the neighbors have kept
a log of when the ice breaks up in spring.
I suppose their log tells them
when it closes over the lake, too.
Last winter was so hard on deer the hunters
are cancelling their rooms. Why bother?
Dan saw fresh antler-rub marks yesterday.
Not many tracks, should've been more.
He's bundled up for work, but
trying to get a picture first.
I better go watch, in case
it soars off again.
Rain from Cloudless Skies
The afternoon begins to burn‹and rain
steeply falls from cloudless skies. To see
behind the cloudlessness where clouds must be,
the passersby turn round and round. In vain,
they strain to hear the stories of the drops
falling from where nothing ever falls.
They raise their hands to catch these words, meet walls
of blue. When summer burns, then nothing stops
the burning but this rain from cloudless skies,
in search of listeners for tales about
escaping from the sun's attempts to put
an end to everything which isn't light.
But when the clouds come back to have their say,
the sun's already burned the rain away.
Andrew Shields’ most recent book is a translation (with
Michael Hoffman and John Crutchfield) of Durs
Grünbein's selected essays, Bars of Atlantis (Faber and
Faber and FSG, 2010). His band, Human Shields, is an
acoustic trio that plays his original songs. Andrew lives
and teaches in Switzerland.