Paul Kane


A Crossing

What is it about
      form that lets the life within
find its expression
            without even uttering
                  a word or marking a page?

Winter’s frozen stream
      affords us a step across
to the other side,
            while in spring, a flowing stream
                  corrugates in the shallows.

Questions of crossing
      cross the mind like shadows or
scorings on a wall.
            Every face is emphatic
                  with the form that life has led.

This is what woke me
      in the pale light this morning,
a mere strand of words
            chasing after a form to
                  give them life, and life a form.



Paul Kane has published five collections of poems, including Work Life (Turtle Point Press, 2007), and a poetry and music CD with sound artist Katie O’Looney, Seven Catastrophes in Four Movements (Farpoint Recordings, 2013). His awards include fellowships from the NEH, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Bogliasco Foundation. He is poetry editor of Antipodes and general editor of the Braziller Series of Australian Poets. He teaches at Vassar College.