A Classic Sampler
Beowulf / Viking Poetry
Sir Gawain & the
Green Knight and Pearl
Poetic Techniques /
Masthead / Awards
New Changes & Old
A poem in malaháttr meter
by Michael Helsem
Copyright © Michael Helsem, 1989.
I don't even know if it's clear or cloudy
lugging the legg'd thing out on the lawn.
Amazing how many are the mercury sentinels:
darker by far a house by day.
The stars are still there since I stopped checking;
I almost can understand their first effect
on the boy who bought this beautiful contraption
when I bend my gaze to the glass pinhole.
The moon, that monotonous moving beacon
has a hundred holes shadowed sharply,
more cryptic crossed-to and boot-caressed:
We're no wiser about where it came from
than the childish shepherds chunking guesses
that fall as stones -- though fantasies affix.
It glows gliding into splendid gloom.
I can't consider it incredible or true.
Perhaps, I ponder putting away
the jewel-like eyepiece, it's just as well
this race remain on a crowded rock --
the space we sport in, a spiritual realm.