Shield & Song


No goat song. No satyr.
No dancing cloven hoof. No stiff prick.
No wine-drunk Silenus singing love sick.
No cyclops. No shepherds. Nothing but a stick.
Wreck the bronze by beating it. Throw
Brick. Throw spear. Throw
Shit from stables. Let worms gnaw all. Go
Gather harm and bring a little home.


To put the moon back in a song. To put back the sun
And the stars. To loosen a little the air from the ether.
To let the grass keep in thin shadows secret its secret love.
To keep the roots dark. Nothing
Hasn’t had enough of fear. Wants fear a little more wild.
To the deaf ear and the wheat ear that cannot not hear the covering pall
Cover up the moon. Find some song like a coin lost in the grass. Give it a home.

*Listen to Dan discuss his “Shields & Songs” series here.

Dan Beachy-Quick is the author of five collections of poetry and a volume of interwoven essays on Moby Dick entitled A Whaler’s Dictionary. His third book of poems, Mulberry (2006), was a finalist for the prestigious Los Angeles Times Book Award. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado where he teaches in the Colorado State University MFA program.