Issue > Poetry
Mark S Burrows

Mark S Burrows

Mark Burrows' poems and translations have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, 91st Meridian, The Anglican Theological Review, The Christian Century, Southern Quarterly, Eremos, Weavings, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Metamorphoses and Almost Island, among others. A volume of his recent poems, The Chance of Home, will be published in 2016.

Still Life


is what it is, as in this
glazed Italian bowl:  

one apple with a
single wrinkled leaf

clinging to the stem,
a twist of gnarly ginger,

and two shining
ripe lemons.

Still life is just what
it is, despite

our strongest longings
and deepest fears:

it is not indifferent
to us, and does

not wait for some gesture
of assent to form

in the mind's deep,
but simply

keeps what is still life,
as rain to earth,

as cloud to wind,
grass to field,

as hope to heart.

In Answer

           The part of art which is art, and not  
            device, unshackles us from usefulness almost
            entirely.

                                    —Jane Hirshfield

                           
  A single
  black-capped
  chickadee sings
  somewhere,
  hidden
  from sight,
  her bursts
  of song
  falling
  into silences
  that linger
  from the deep
  of night.  
  Her music
  rises like a
  bright thread
  of light
  woven of
  the fabric
  of sleep.
  She doesn't
  wait for eye
  to see or ear
  to hear,
  shaping
  her voice
  without regard
  for audience,
  her song
  pointing
  beyond
  every
  notion of
  purpose we
  can know,
  in answer
  only to the
  coming
  day and
  to delight.

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