Robin Eichele: WORK/ 1

boat/buck of the cock


                          and the hen, or

the poet takes a wife

                                     for John & Leni Sinclair


the flesh of poem


in vision back, as


Byblis might, moves to

total energy. how



dust got


in the eye & 


how gristle bit


to bone 


bones of poet


as he labors

moon among folds



moon slipping in


& out, with the wind,


a luminous eye


opening, socketed in


the rocks 



ankles and wrists of the


bone forest

smell of pine

needles underfoot



jaws tearing at their hinges


cracking, the tongue, a moon


in the ocean: 


the curl of the sea


receives the tongue, torn


from its root, searching








sound of buck


through light timber





the face a joy-


ous solemnity. 


the face the poet wears


wears off, becomes


gnarled with salt, cracks


with the ocean.



words crest, agogees


of crystal, ground


fine, as sand, as diamond,


the ground the sand is


that the sea moves over,


the ground the words are


and how the earth moves,


Mortal, in waves. 



words crest to


meet the Imagining 



rivulets spread from the pines


to the sea 

around boulders

making the movement of

the moment of

the dance




holds, pushes into


storm, the eye


to the ribs, forced


song, lashed to mast


to master, darkness;


bouy, distance, distortion


risking even with the rock


grained granite of


the hand 

the word races across the rocks and sand

O Lycia! to fall, a fountain, a freshet,

from the salty limbs that loved the brother,

and pursued what the makir hastens after,

the love, loved sibling, brother, now sister,

running as the brother ran, again, fountain,

or, source, that is, cause, of such

sweet water.

the poet chases with the poem,

handful of hair, spoor of game, mortal gesture

at point, of divining rod held (just so) out,

waiting, for the dip, the slight movement in

direction, the fingers just so on each (other)

on, the words, the tendons coaxing the fragile object

in the air, holding, just so, the tool of the

man, of the dream.



water pushes from beneath


the brown needles, eases


them, away, down, to clay,


pushing, dusty, down from


the feet, then clear, from


the feet, reaching, away. 

words move from where we stand;

their sense is the sense of

their spring.

the buck stands,

his moist nose to the air.

the poem


moves to meet the buck


the magic


of signal in his


high head muscle


words move to magic this pur-


suit of magic


the joining of magical




the house of the magic


of muscle

& bone

the cock and the hen


percussion &





in the magic


of love 

love, the magic

focus, the marriage

of the image of one

through   an other

a gesture of form

in the magic of love

the bow of polished antler



we tie the magic down


in the act


our gestures and our words


hold us


the poet holds


          up, with words

words taken

from the woman’s hands

her lips

her eyes


to hold

as her hand

the fingers strong

the strength in her eyes

in her hands

in her words

held up

an offering.


the stresses of love are not


put upon


by the defining finger

the buck crashes through the underbrush


rain spreads pine needles in fingers


of the hand, strong,


at the feet

the pen moves

as mortals move

to give a sign

of love.   to show

the hold the hand

of the heart holds

of love.   to hold

the magic close of

the cock and the hen, to

magic the mortal move

to hold, to word, to love.

to love to

hold the flesh of

the poem, of the

gesture, the sweet

water of


love reaches

the mortal

dance of

the image

in marriage

of the foresting





an old man, on his back porch,


looks through the trees 

and sees the poet

kiss his wife.



— Robin Eichele




12 June 1965