~ Pat Conroy

from "The Prince of Tides" ~

I blaze with a deep sullen magic,
smell lust like a heron on fire;
all words I form into castles
then storm them with soldiers of air.

What I seek is not there for asking.
My armies are fit and well trained.
This poet will trust her battalions
to fashion her words into blades.

At dawn I shall ask them for beauty,
for proof that their training went well.
At night I shall beg their forgiveness
as I cut their throats by the hill.

My navies advance through the language,
destroyers ablaze in high seas.
I soften the island for landings.
With words, I enlist a dark army.
My poems are my war with the world.

I blaze with a deep southern magic.
The bombardiers taxi at noon.
There is screaming and grief in the mansions
and the moon is a heron on fire.