Claire Smith: POET'S PASSING

The world is an empty page
Half-expecting more words
Sharpened on the whetstone of his mind. The cage
Has a wing-wide door aghast at the bird's
Vanishing; dandelion clocks
Succumb to exquisite ultra slow flakefall on a breath
Unseen. No more the advance of the fox
Through whirlwound summer bled leaves, the heath
Parts purple, stealth-combed, under his shadow now.
The river teems with minnows, mercurial,
And trout, dark-tainted silver, but the prow
Of the pike, oil-drop hauled through water, wax-seal
Melting under the sun, slow-running marvel,
For its progress is horizontal, is a once
In a lifetime sight for the man who has to travel
To take pleasure in the countryside. Dalliance.
A drop in the angler's river of sights.
The hawk's crag stoops bare now the worldwatcher has flown
An otherworldly current lifts the hawk to afterlife flights
He was drawn, heaven-lit, like Excalibur from stone.

Sheets mute white as swans, words
Have forsaken them. Clear air craves cadence.
Night. New snowscene. No prints of birds.
A mind saltbright with words, tantalized by the taste of words
Thirsty for words, dissolves in silence.