Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Lauren Camp: Leather World, This Bird, This Sky

I came here from temporary 

and perpetual rages—the whole sky 

of wind. Secret birds 

take the ruin of garden. 

Hail carefully cuts out 

the unseen side, the open veins.

Dirt offers its fragrance

through flooding. 

When the nest falls, 

I open the twigs and find only 

crickets with their gasps 

and clicking. For 19 years I have been 

driving toward reason—or into 

the sinews of city: the pile-up 

on the interstate, the drums 

of hydrochloric acid

near intersections, the suspicion. 

Where does it end? 

I’ve always understood 

what can’t be said, but the man 

who complained of kindness 

had to apologize. There’s almost

no dialogue between life’s 

various promises. Such endeavor,

all of these seasons. 

Wind pulls on one wing 

then a next—and a raptor flies 

crooked through its mandolin language. 

Suddenly everything verified: 

cloud without end. 


Lauren Camp is the author of five books, most recently Took House (Tupelo Press, 2020).

First published in The Poetry Mail. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

Lauren Camp

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2020 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , .

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