Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Poem of the Week: "Advice for a Stegosaurus," by Jessica Goodheart

Welcome back for another Poem of the Week. In Alabama this weekend, I visited the Cathedral Caverns, a really awesome place. I had never been on a cave tour before, and this one made a great first impression. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn't even begin to find the words to do it justice. While wandering the winding paths edged in foot lights through damp air, water so clear it looked like more cave beneath your feet, and many beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations, I thought of two things: 1) dinosaurs! and 2) The Lord of the Rings. Because I don't know many Lord of the Rings-related poetry outside of some Led Zeppelin songs (Did you know Robert Plant is an enormous Tolkien nerd?), I went with my first thought. I ran across this poem in an anthology a few years ago and fell in love with it. Probably because it's about my favorite dinosaur of all time, the most wonderful and ferocious stegosaurus. Enjoy!

Advice for a Stegosaurus, by Jessica Goodheart

Never mind the asteroid,
the hot throat of the volcano,
a sun that daily drips into the void.

Comb the drying riverbed for drink.
Strut your bird-hipped body.
Practice a lizard grin. Don't think.

Stretch out your tail. Walk, as you must,
in a slow deliberate gait.
Don't look back, Dinosaur. Dust is dust.

You'll leave your bones, your fossil feet
and armored eye-lids.
Put your chin to the wind. Eat what you eat.

Happy Reading, everyone!

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