Misty Morning in Maine http://www.brendatharp.com/

A poem of life and art by one of our Poet Laureates, Mona Van Duyn (1921-2004).
Moose in the Morning, Northern Maine

At six a.m. the log cabins

nose an immense cow-pie of mist

that lies on the lake.

Nineteen pale goldfinches perch

side by side on the telephone wire

that runs to shore,

and under them the camp cow,

her bones pointing this way and that,

is collapsed like a badly constructed

pup tent in the dark weeds.

Inside, I am building a fire

in the old woodstove with its rod overhead

for hunters’ clothes to steam on.

I am hunting for nothing—perhaps the three cold pencils

that lie on the table like kindling

could go in to start the logs.

I remember Ted Weiss saying,

“At the exhibition I suddenly realized

Picasso had to remake everything he laid his eyes on

into an art object.

He couldn’t let the world alone.

Since then I don’t write every morning.

“The world is warming and lightening

and mist on the pond

dissolves into bundles and ribbons.

At the end of my dock there comes clear,

bared by the gentle burning,

a monstrous hulk with thorny head,

up to his chest in the water,

mist wreathing round him.

Grander and grander grows the sun

until he gleams, his brown coat

glistens, the great rack,

five feet wide, throws sparks

of light. A ton of monarch,

munching, he stands spotlit.

Then slowly, gravely, the great neck lowers

head and forty pounds of horn

to sip the lake.

The sun stains the belittled

cow’s hide amber.

She heaves her bones and bag

and her neckbell gongs

as she gets to her feet

in yellow blooms of squaw-weed.

On the telephone wire

all the little golden bells are ringing

as that compulsive old scribbler, the universe,

jots down another day.

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