The rains have come and winter
is not as far away as it was looking,
though beneath shadecloth
and over the glistening white sand
of Timmy’s sandpit, hundreds
of moths are staggering
through the air, falling to sand
to fly up confused again. In dull
green light they are tiny angels
without entries or exits,
and following them with our eyes
we grow giddy and confused.
Their wings heavy with rain,
dust is running off like sludge.
The terrace of sand a desert
of the drowning and drowned.
Plastic buckets and shovels,
rakes and rubber balls,
compact earth-movers and bulldozers,
starfish and castles, all tombstones
where there should be no markers
of the real. In a place where shadows
filter through shadecloth onto sand,
late rains have altered the rules:
angels, like spent nuclear fuel,
toxify in their different forms,
boomerang back into sacred lands.
John Kinsella’s most recent volumes of poetry are Peripheral Light: Selected and New Poems (W. W. Norton, 2003), Doppler Effect: Collected Experimental Poems (Salt, 2004), and The New Arcadia (W. W. Norton, 2005).