Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs by Dan Beachy-Quick
I read this little book of poetry in 20 minutes last night, and then read and re-read it out loud to myself because the language was so rhythmic and compelling. The Shields are short 8 line pieces, eight of them, laid out on the page in the shape of a shield (I had them laid out here as they are in a book but WordPress isn’t having it). Shards are fragments of the Shields, and Stitches even smaller bits. Songs then picks back up again as new, longer pieces. I love love love what the poet did here, using the same 8 lines to create 3 different poems.
Be of ruin this rude maker.
Rubble be. Ruin be. Be not a stone.
Hellstone. Hailstone. Hellebore.
Take root in the broken and bloom.
Bloom blood into bitter lake
Or let dirt drink its fill. The bee moans
In it thin cup. Pollen and trouble.
Mark it in bronze, poet. Grab the tool. Beat it.
be be stone.
drink its moans
thin cup trouble.
You be awe. I’ll be knife.
There’s an altar by the water.
You be creature. I’ll be priest.
Slack sails wait wind. Wind waits feast.
Least blood most blessed. You be what I lack.
Ceased asking why. Ceased open eyes. You
Alter in darkness alone. My girl of gold-hair
Life. Be antlers of deer. Be your own rescue.