Stemming  from Stevens

By Lisa Williams Lisa Williams
It’s not enough to cover the rock with leaves
— as if  vernal fluidities

could be enough for the stern assault of  fact.
As if  a living ornament,

light and subject to temporal  breezes,
could be enough to overcome despair,

that chunk of  something solid in the air,
unmoving, as words repeated are.

It’s not enough to cover despair
with motion. Motion itself  is flawed,

continuous motion a narrow, thin escape
from what is rooted. Leaves do sway,

but in truth, they’re only flapping out,
ancillary, uncertain, buffeted

this way and that. They remain the fact
they are bound to, involuntary notions

victim to the weather of  a day,
gripped by what has thrust between the rocks,

flexible as everything not rock is,
reckless as imagining is reckless.

Source: Poetry (February 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2008
 Lisa  Williams


Lisa Williams is the author of Gazelle in the House (New Issues, 2014), Woman Reading to the Sea (W.W. Norton, 2008), winner of the 2007 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and The Hammered Dulcimer (Utah State University, 1998). Her poems also appeared in Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008).

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Poems by Lisa Williams

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SUBJECT Living, Nature

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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