Poetry - Issue 17 | March 2013

Saw Instrumental

by Henry

Saw Instrumental [Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland]

Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Across the handsaw drawn—as across the world
now seems—her fiddlebow—a whetting, whittling down
to two dimensions—a plane edge-toothed as ocean’s own—
horizon-fretted—wind aslant a treeless (I would
have you listen to it) island—back/forth—(how, o
do you, how to tell you?)—Ariel—(slit-bound)—
as once your forefinger set a wine glass humming—bone-
less, lungless sprite fast in the cloven pine-rings wailed

& bent his pitch (how high?) within that windbent tree—so
that night her saw—sighting, aligning, sliding between—
shrieked out (still never cross the grain) the Lilliputian
stars—made of the room, walls, floorboards, table, us, a mouth—
an echo chamber—until we heard our worldsend through
the crack-(my heart)(she played Amazing Grace)-less distance.

About the author

Henry Walters is a falconer and naturalist. He keeps Woody Guthrie’s Bound For Glory in one pocket and a razor in the other, with which he keeps up a meticulous, every-other-day shaving routine in public library lavatories. Henry’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Guide, Hawk Migration Studies, Miracle Monocle, Tuesday: An Art Project, and other publications. He writes a biweekly blog about life in the woods for The Old Farmer’s Almanac

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