Kiki Vanderhoos (the_byzantine) wrote,
Kiki Vanderhoos

poem: the goodnight: Michael Ondaatje

The Goodnight
by Michael Ondaatje (The Cinnamon Peeler 1989)

With the bleak heron Paris
imagine Philoctetes
the powerful fat thighed man,
the bandaged smelling foot
with rivers and bloodshot veins
scattering like trails into his thighs:
a man who roared on an island for ten years,
whose body grew banal
while he stayed humane
behind the black teeth and withering hair.

Imagine his hands--black
from the dried blood of animals,
a bow of torn silver
that noised arrows loose like a wild heart;

in front of him--Paris
darting and turning, the perfumed stag,
and beyond him the sun
nettled in the hills, throwing back his shape,
until the running spider of shadow
gaped on the bandaged foot of the standing man
who let shafts of eagles into the ribs
that were moving to the mountains.
Tags: art/lit spotlight: poem
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