The Voice

Photo: Alf Magne Heskja
Photo: Alf Magne Heskja

By Roger Greenwald



Power lines trace your line of sight,

high tension at the vanishing point.

Climbing-spikes in the poles

belong to a special character set:

braille for the feet — up and down

this alphabet like scales,

a language that leads to the clouds.


Gnash of soles on fine gravel;

you are moving past the trees

and the trees past you,

everything’s turning, as Dr. E.

explained, depends on your frame of view.


What does this have to do with your voice,

other than Munch’s moonlit painting,

dark vibrating columns set off

by the white throat above the white dress?


Though we run before we walk, and dance

before we sing, that soon the voice

wanders into your walking, and the wind

flies over in packets like an owl of air.


At the top you are a spur

on the backbone of the mountain,

divide the beating city

from the random moor.

Everything’s alive, don’t worry.



Copyright © 2004, 2105 by Roger Greenwald. All rights reserved.




Roger Greenwald grew up in New York and lives in Toronto. He has published two books of poems, Connecting Flight and Slow Mountain Train, as well as many volumes of poetry translated from Scandinavian languages (from Norwegian: Rolf Jacobsen, Tarjei Vesaas, Paal-Helge Haugen).

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