The Carrier of Details



“The carrier of details that make up his story.” —Solzhenitsyn, on any writer

“Nothing matches the holiness and fascination of accurate and intricate detail.” —Stephen Jay Gould


All the tonnages of sunlight, all
avoirdupois of water;
the duckweeded pond
beside which the heron’s
crook’t trail is inscribed,
the splink and spurt of creek
over lodged caddisfly larvae:
the open hearth of photosynthesis
blast furnacing the noon,
batterying energy
in the storehouses of the leaves,
the dapple on the downing oakslope
in which ginseng grows
in humus, its swart homunculi—
afternoon glare over
orange butterfly weed,
the sails of fritillaries and
swallowtails like solar panels,
arrays of design and delight

—All of this is her burden,
the entire hot, igniting world,
the brilliant objects of her attention,
even each of the long blonde strands
she brushes in the morning mirror—
even the silk-spanned
goldenrods in the meadow
even the vultured snag
along the dusty creek road
like a derrick of ghouls—
everything, all in all: what she must
take on and carry
just as surely as her skin,
her skyed eyes,
her own ripening eggs:
that  novel, that  future,
this multifarious, variegated, unceasingly


Richard Hague is author of 15 collections, most recently Where Drunk Men Go (Dos Madres Press, 2015) and Learning How: Stories, Yarns & Tales (Bottom Dog Press, 2011). His During The Recent Extinctions: New & Selected Poems 1984-2012 (Dos Madres Press) received The Weatherford Award in Poetry in 2012. He has work recently appearing or forthcoming in Big Brick Review, Appalachian Heritage, Still: The Journal, Birmingham Poetry Review, and in Quarried: Thirty Years of Pine Mt. Sand & Gravel (Dos Madres Press, 2015), which he edited. He is writer-in-residence at Thomas More College in Northern Kentucky.


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