by Robert Dana

                                                                                                                            Early evening.
                                 The trees turning black and blacker.

The snow turning blue.
                                                               Winter clamped and hard.


Only the fire consoles me.
                                                                                  And the eyes and mouth and hands of fire.


Twin birds in each ear.
                                                A fox on each cheekbone.
                                                                                          The candle flaming along its flat nose.

                Exploding on its skull, a blue cosmos.

The dream-tiger’s head
                                                 snarls silently on the white wall.


Ten thousand tiny beads of many colors
                                                                              pinned into beeswax over carven wood.


                                                                                                            Vision animal.
Power decayed into Beauty.
                                                                          Mercado junk food for the soul.

               In its blank, fierce eyes,

                                                                      some shaman’s storm of wild music still frozen there.

ROBERT DANA’s most recent books of poetry are The Other (Anhinga Press, 2008) and The Morning Of The Red Admirals (Anhinga Press, 2004). A book of memoirs and literary essays Paris On The Flats, Versions Of A Literary Life will be published in April 2010 by The University of Tampa Press. It will be published in tandem with his New & Selected Poems, 1955-2010 published by Anhinga Press. He served as Poet Laureate of Iowa from 2004 through 2008.