This poem started last night at work with this line, “the geese scrawl their lazy vees,” which became these lines, “in the sky already / the geese are dark, hurried scrawls,” and then spread both above and below them into a double tanka that, after twenty or so revisions, ended up as what is now below. I thought about posting all the drafts, but decided they’d just take up too much space.
The Autumn Shift of Wind
Warm and clear, autumn’s first day
has come and gone, but the wind shifts northwest—
the geese already scrawl dark, hurried
parting lines on blue
And now the white moon that brimmed
full, round and molten a night or two past,
presses its malleable rim against
the cold carbon* sky
*Carbon here does not primarily refer to climate change—that connotation is certainly intended but not until at least the fifth layer down, after carbon’s necessity to life, its ubiquity, its allotropes and isotopes.