Spring 2007: Issue 81

William Keens

Trying to divine

Something sacred, what the long line

Played out and reeled in

Delivers silvery, wet and flopping


But alive on a crescent of beach.


Of course they disguise themselves—

Fish with wings, weathervanes,

High-flying hawks—

Those “purely spiritual and

Splendid beings”

(This from an Islamic tract)

Who row and spin in their interceding,


The sum a practical account:

Crops grow,

Tumors fade, children

Remain whole, the thread doesn’t break.


Sublime, sublime

The evidence of angels.

For them, the bamboo

Unfurls its shade, long poles that

Sway and clack

Like socketed pinions in the shimmering air.



Murmurs in the crown,

A sudden cooling like the advent of rain.