The Field Poem By Tom Sleigh

The Field Poem By Tom Sleigh

Once I left the room
of the boardinghouse
I dreamed, I saw at the end
of a long fallow field
the derricks and cranes
like spider-woven filament
against the bay
curdling in the sun.
The clods of earth
beneath my shoes
crumbled at each step
and reeked of ammonia,
that friable breaking up
like a quavering voice
leaping to attack,
laddering up and down
a dissonant scale
so pure, so atonal
that it shivered all through me
as if I were a tuning fork
vibrating through
the far-echoing afternoon.
On and on my feet
kept moving, the softly
combusting clods
cushioning each step
as before me the field spread
always larger and more still,
the dream taking me
wherever I would go,
my black shadow
plunging and lifting
like a plough—
until I was borne up
by the buoyant exhaustion
of my path down
the furrows that flowed out
like a never-ending note
floating on the breath,
of a singer whose eyes shut,
and who feels himself lifted,
past the spotlit hall
into a solitude beyond
appeal or recall.

Tom Sleigh
from The Dreamhouse

The Field Poem By Tom Sleigh

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