This poem appears in the Spring 2015 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.
A Bach air begging the hour of blessed death
to strike has the strings toll pizzicato bells,
not solemn but treble, puckish, and quaint. I stood
once in a clump of aspen and fir that seethed
with chickadees giving their small staticky calls
and flitting everywhere, perching, hanging upside
down, so quick from tree to tree I saw
mere motion, a constant pulse like fluttering leaves.
The baroquely busy grove, with anachronistic
small krummhorns, held me reflecting, piquantly charmed
and half bewildered at those sprightly lives
buzzing with life’s, or death’s, elusive mischief.
Donald Mace Williams is a retired newspaper writer and editor. His poems have run or will soon run in American Arts Quarterly online, Anglican Theological Review, National Review, Barrow Street, the Raintown Review, and other magazines. His rhymed narrative “Wolfe,” a ranchland retelling of the Beowulf story, ran in Rattle and was published as a chapbook the following year. He has a PhD in English from the University of Texas.