Poem of The Week

Due to a late entry, we were not able to have a featured poem last week. We apologize and hope this doesn't happen again.

This week, we have Dan Shanahan, a veteran poet and an associate of Janaka Stucky who came to Stucky's November 21st reading and impressed in the open mike. Hopefully, he will have his own feature sometime in 2006.

A Silk Moth In Holyoke, Massachusetts

There was a moth
from Koboke, Japan
Who it is said made thread
With lineage from China,
Three thousand years old.
When its eggs hatched
Stars were stitched upon thier backs.
As caterpillars they mused and grazed
At zero speed on green fields
Of Mulberry leaves.
In such idle ways
They dreamed themseves
Into cocoons,
Dangled in their solitudes,
Pupas pulsing with the moon.
when they woke
Their work began
Spinning silk for my mother,
Who sewed by hand
Buttonholes and linings
I recall, for a sweater
She made for me one fall.

Boxi moth, furry,
Plain khaki tan,
My city was spun
From your imaginings.
You threaded the river
Through the needles of canals
Dug out with immigrant hands.
In your sleep you turned the mills
The cogs and wheels
Spooling bobbins by the millions
To bind this world in silk
And pay for the shop-floor girl's
Bottle of milk.

--Dan Shanahan