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Jim Fisher


Deer Hollow

Beneath the power lines at that preserve
I rested halfway up, and heard below
The freeway traffic on its evening flow,
When on the lift of a whirlwind nerve
Blowing over the ledge, a goshawk flew
Flapping, with a glide, into canyon oak.
Then it seemed the wilderness awoke,
Though not in sylvan images I knew—
For above me, once the bird had flown,
That metal tower shook, a cable noised,
As if with intuition it would differ
That mysteries defer to woods alone.
And so I reconsidered, spirit poised,
Then listened to that road as to a river.



Siege of Angels

The Angels flew over downtown this week,
Under truce of the San Francisco noon:

"Can't miss this," cooed my hair stylist,
Drawn outside his shopfront on Columbus

Into a civilian congregation
Of clients, clerks, panhandlers, lawyers

Spellbound by the sounding in the sky.
A dull roar from the north, then a rumbling

In the wind, dying in dry, hissing blasts.
The boom economy stood sunward,

Eyes shielded against the silicic
Architecture of the market, splendor

Blinding as blown glass; when a reflected
Formation took shape on the Bay,

Machinery flying straighter than nature,
Past the Crocker Branch, past the Monkey Block

Become Transamerica Pyramid,
A militant hallucination

Vindicating hatreds of the spirit.
(Reverend Barclay, keeper of the tongue,

Said:  "I have visions fiery to burn
The world down to purpose," prophesying

On the rock at Point Sur, just as here,
From the roof of BofA, a banker

Shouts to all, "Here they come!")  Inspiration
Is no less destructive than aggression,

And aggression no less inspiring
Than a poem.  Below the siege of Angels

The Pacific yields to the surging Bay,
Meeting the Sierra aqueducts

Emptying life from the Mokelumne
To irrigate the spirit of the land.


Jim Fisher is a San Francisco writer and metaphysical birdwatcher, currently working as a computer technician for the online magazine, Salon. Poems of his are forthcoming in Snowy Egret, Troubador and Processed World 2001. His essay for Salon on recycling end-of-life computer equipment was recently selected by Earth Day Network's Grist Magazine as one of the season's best environmental features.
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