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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Charles D. Tarlton
Northampton, Massachusetts, USA


Fauconnier

Say, what's this bird, this falcon that everybody's all steamed up about?

               —Dashiell Hammett

The Harris’s Hawk swooped (there is no other word for it) from a high hickory branch, gliding just above the ground, and then soared quickly, softly up to his perch thirty yards away. The falconer whistled and the bird dove back into the air, like a kid into the blue of a pool, and swooshed to a graceful stop on the falconer’s outstretched gloved hand. The bird, of course, showed no emotion; his eye was still and dark, and his head moved slightly from side to side. Such a bird sees everything; this one suddenly dropped to the ground and caught a cricket in the grass.

a dream Peregrine
arose in a wingéd poem
and dragged its talon’d kill
in amongst the taffetas
and china bowls, unconcerned

from his altitude
objects change to their shadows
out across the ground
each slightest movement rings a bell
heaves and pitches like the tide

when in my mind’s eye
like the falcon’s as it soars
I see everything
such lethal reconnaissance
has disturbing effect

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