The Lost Country

Fall 2014 • Vol. 3, No. 1

issn 2326-5310 (online)


By Donald Carlson

This work was published in the Fall 2014 issue of The Lost Country. You may purchase a copy of this issue from us or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

Knowing comes to hands as I wrap them around
The handle and shaft of a sharpshooter
Spade to start digging, with my foot and leg
Stamping, plunging, blade champing into turf,
Rubbing blisters and calluses that bud
On my palms. I ply the soil to spell its
Name in an alphabet of root, stem, vine,
Blush of five-petaled periwinkle, flame--
Like dwarf nandina leaf, not unlike

Illuminations made by a steadfast
Scribe hunched, tonsured, in his scriptorium,
A brown wren hopping, trilling rising notes--
Falling notes on a stone sill, foregrounded
Against translucent northern sky. Engrossed,
He traces “In principio creavit,
Majuscule “I” sprouting over parchment
A paradise of shapes in red, gold, green,
Umber, blue, joining hands with his Maker
To stake his claim in the fierce fierce glory
Of Creation. I seek similar pathways,

Fingers curved sore and stricken over keys,
Poised to peck out a rhythm of letters,
Words, phrases, sentences, spells to charm
Such energies as await the proper
Moment to spume into forms that quiver
Over networks of nerves, following roads
Half-remembered, seen in lightning flashes,
Emerging in a palpable pattern,
A dance we do not yet know that we know.