"A Way of Seeing"
If at night you enter a forest with a lantern—
Flame, risen and warm against the glass—
And the mast of that ship within you is blown,
Caught, and alive with wind,
Pull your oars in from Reason’s sea.
If later within that lantern,
The flame thins and dies,
Owls from the deck’s dark corners will emerge,
Singing like your dead grandfather,
Playing flutes like his wives,
Drunk and dancing upon the stern.
"A Way of Seeing" by Nigerian poet Abayomi Animashaun appeared originally online in Passages North. His 2010 debut collection is The Giving of Pears, where he explains that "In writing these poems, I saw the page as a sort of living room, where I could go to have a party." He teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin.