May 8, 2013KR OnlinePoetry

Speculation on the History of Drawing; Speculation on the Little Ice Age

Speculation on the History of Drawing

The tool,
A burnt stick,
Extends the body

In this space
And through time.
The mark renders,

We assume,
Asserts meaning
We might yet read:

An abstracted serpent,
The moon’s trajectory,
A caribou’s spine.

As far
As an arm can reach:
A drag of charcoal

High on the cave wall,
Still measured by,
Scaled to, a human body.

Speculation on the Little Ice Age

A makeshift
Bird trap
Waits to be sprung.

A startled horse slips,
Sinks through ice.
Two women

With knives
Dress a pig carcass
Hung on a hook.

If you look up,
Smoke exits
Through doors and windows,

Because a stork
Nests on the chimney.
Twilight shadows lengthen,

Bleed into darkness.
Everywhere ice
Calls down the cold.

Eric Pankey is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently Not Yet Transfigured (Orison Books, 2021). A chapbook called The Future Perfect: A Fugue is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Pankey is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.