Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BLUE HOURS: 1. CLOUD-HORSE, by RICK BAROT

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BLUE HOURS: 1. CLOUD-HORSE, by            
First Line: Knowing exactly what it needs
Subject(s): Animals; Freedom; Horses; Liberty

Knowing exactly what it needs
to do, carrying its own particle of worry,
or what passes for worry,
the spider hurries across the floor,
single-minded as a last, brave hoplite.
Other mornings the starlings
pick the lawn's seeds in practiced fours -
one keeps watch while the others
feed, always together.
Even the potted tulip leans into itself
unconflicted, canting its head
like a listener
to the room's brighter half.
So to enter these things, sweet and mannerless.
Hours now I have stared
at that picture, that horse
rushing over its gold field,
its walnut-brown body patched with tin-gray,
pure-white clouds. Red oaks
form a ragged fence on the horizon
and I can imagine how the field, the tough
grass, are all the horse could ever
want, free to the last
of What next? Where now?
Where is the long day taking me now?

Copyright Rick Barot
Prairie Schooner is a literary quarterly published since 1927 which
publishes original stories, poetry, essays, and reviews. Regularly cited in the
prize journals, the magazine is considered one of the most prestigious of the
campus-based literary journals.

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