01 December 2007

They went La, La, La, La, La, La...La, La, La, La, La, La

Harmon's (Boot Capital of Virginia), Hillsville, VA

The Heaven of Animals
--James Dickey

Here they are. The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains it is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.

Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open.

To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.

For some of these, it could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done,
But with claws and teeth grown perfect,

More deadly than they can believe.
They stalk more silently,
And crouch on the limbs of trees,
And their descent
Upon the bright backs of their prey

May take years
In a sovereign floating of joy.
And those that are hunted
Know this as their life,
Their reward: to walk

Under such trees in full knowledge
Of what is in glory above them,
And to feel no fear,
But acceptance, compliance.
Fulfilling themselves without pain

At the cycle's center,
They tremble, they walk
Under the tree,
They fall, they are torn,
They rise, they walk again.


Karen said...

You get definite cool points if you were thinking about Joan Baez while you took this photo.

mark burnette said...

I was thinking of Robbie Robertson from The Band, but I'm not sure that's as cool--plus, Joan Baez is more attractive, so thinking about her would've probably been better. There's a Civil War museum inside Harmon's (a really impressive one, actually) and while I was walking around the line "Virgil Caine is my name and I served on the Danville train" kept rolling around in my head. I haven't heard from you in a while...give me a call.