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The Journey



In a beginning creative writing class a few years ago the instructor had us take a poem, 13 Ways to Look at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens and rewrite it. This was my version written about my yellow Labrador, Buffy.

13 Ways to Look at a Blackbird
Wallace Stevens

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
I was of three minds,
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,

The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indeciperable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Conneticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

13 Ways to Look at Buffy

A ball of buff
Among a sea of black
Oblivious to the environment
About to change forever

To be returned
To the only home
She knows

Big paws
Big ears
Soft as down
Fill your hand
As it strokes
Over fur

Sitting by your side
Content to be
In the company
Of a human

Fiercely determined
To drag
A brach
Twice her size

Melting brown eyes
All tricks to get
Her own way

Every muscle tensed
To hear the command

Proudly holding the bird
Caught in mid flight

A moving figurehead
Standing on the bow
Blowing ears
Mouth biting
The wind

A yellow streak
Blows by
Chasing a ball

A scream sounds
Angey dangerous snarling
Fills the air
Coming through the window
To save her sister
From a tickling father

White muzzle showing
Still playful
Still protective

Moving gingerly
Laying carefully

So as not to disturb
Stitches lining neck and ear