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Meditation on Narrative, Dogma, and Flight

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It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
        -Tomas Tranströmer

My people are not natural storytellers.

Ask my father for a story, he’s still trying to get it going
when all the boys have drifted off to the kitchen.

Still, I want the reader as far inside of my skin as possible,
no matter the difficulties. For instance:

The self does not feel like matter, but that’s all it is.
I forget who said so, and I don’t agree,

but it was spoken with such confidence.

And so much else needs to be considered:

Kites make the wind visible.
Some tree frogs can only sing for three nights.

Can you tell me how it is that light comes into the soul?

(That was Thoreau, 1851.)

Spirit is to religion as love is to marriage.

How do you run faster? Start running faster.

How does the box kite manage to fly?

“This is wonderful” and “this must continue” are close kin.

And then the kite’s shadow across the plowed earth.

Jeff Gundy's fifth book of poems is Spoken among the Trees (Akron, 2007); his recent work is in The Sun, Georgia Review, Cincinnati Review, and Image. He is working on a book about theopoetics and Anabaptism and a meditation on his experience as a Fulbright lecturer in Salzburg.