May 102012
 

Here’s a poem by Mark Lavorato, not about Nature so much as about Being, about the surprising thereness of our mysterious collisions with the wild, that sudden glimpse into the eyes of a startled animal, the eyes looking into your eyes. Unforgettable are lines like

and with two bounds of flaming grace

it slipped through a slot in the long grass
the candle flame of its tail doused
into a thin wick of shadow

I read herein faint echoes of D. H. Lawrence and also reminders of an American poet, Robert Wrigley, whose nature poems I admire greatly. Mark Lavorato is a Montreal writer (poems, novels, also he takes photographs and composes music). This poem is from his new book Wayworn Wooden Floors, due out imminently with Porcupine’s Quill.

dg

 

 

Happiness

A true story: Found a fox once
bright coil rusting in the spring grass

looked like it’d died in its sleep
its nose drowned in the fur of its tail

so I crouched down to touch
the still-glowing embers of its pelt

when, with a wild and frozen start, it woke up
I will never forget the electric green

of its eyes fixed to mine, and the
rushing sense that I was looking

into something I’d been scanning for
for miles or years or fathoms

and had found at precisely the moment
I wasn’t prepared to, butterfly net in the closet

My need to swallow splintered the exchange
and with two bounds of flaming grace

it slipped through a slot in the long grass
the candle flame of its tail doused
into a thin wick of shadow

Must have stayed there an hour
wondering if he’d come back

— Mark Lavorato

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Mark Lavorato is the author of three novels, Veracity (2007), Believing Cedric (2011), and Burning-In (forthcoming). His first collection of poetry, Wayworn Wooden Floors, is published by the Porcupine’s Quill (2012). Mark lives in Montreal, where he also does work as a photographer and composer.

  7 Responses to “Happiness: A Poem — Mark Lavorato”

  1. Mark, this is a wonderful poem. Foxes are my totem and they enter many of my own poems…but yours is stunning. Thank you for it.

  2. Beautiful!

  3. ‘Enjoyed that, thanks.

  4. Really loved that. Thanks!

  5. I really love this poem!

  6. Ah, the foxes. Thanks for bringing back to me those greenest of eyes and most flaming of fur. If anyone ever characterizes “natural” colors as only dull ones, I just invoke the fox. Thanks.

  7. Wow, that is some poem. Almost perfect, even with–or because of–the cursed need to swallow.

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