The Origin

of what happened is not in language—
of this much I am certain.
Six degrees south, six east—

and you have it: the bird
with the blue feathers, the brown bird—
same white breasts, same scaly

ankles. The waves between us—
house light and transform motion
into the harboring of sounds in language.—

Where there is newsprint
the fact of desire is turned from again—
and again. Just the sense

that what remains might well be held up—
later, as an ending.
Twice I have walked through this life—

once for nothing, once
for facts: fairy-shrimp in the vernal pool—
glassy-winged sharp-shooter

on the failing vines. Count me—
among the animals, their small
committed calls.—

Count me among
the living. My greatest desire—
to exist in a physical world.

— Jane Mead

Yet another poem that knocked it out of the park IMHO…Thanks once again to Lisa the Irreplaceable, friend and zealous poetic prospector who keeps sending me directions to the best in undiscovered (“new to me” that is) talent. Sometimes it is as easy as just consulting her Good Reads account which, amazingly enough, she finds time to replenish on a daily basis. (How does she do this AND go to law school?) Such a great resource for those of us who love poetry but are not practitioners. I feel like she’s gifted me with a seat in her box, right down there close to the game.

About the poet: Jane Mead is the author of two collections of poetry, House of Poured-Out Waters and The Lord and the General Din of the World. She received a Whiting Writers Award in 1992, a Lannan Writing Fellowship in 1999 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002. She has worked on the fringes of the environmental movement for fifteen years and is currently poet-in-residence at Wake Forest University.