"Catapult"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
March 15 2011 6:54 AM

"Catapult"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Kimberly Johnson read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

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Knock back the catch on the spooled cord, and let fly!
Skyward my blithe port de bras, and skyward flings

Anything you give me: flaming haybales,
Boulders, wet mounds of dung, groundling stuff

Which airborne turns unearthly beauty, unbodied grace
For which the battlement's too mean a target.

See how, shot, that clatter of tacks glints
Like stars above the bonfires, how that vat of rendered fat

Anoints the fortress walls with burning. 
See how the corpses of the hostile dead

Hang angelic in the middle air. And how, angelic,
They fall, as if hungering for the earth

And its sweet demolishings. Holy the fall
I hymn it with my arm.

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Kimberly Johnson is the author of two collections of poetry, Leviathan with a Hook and A Metaphorical God, and of a translation of Virgil's Georgics

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