9 February 2010 | Vol. 9, No. 4

Divining Rod

– for Kyle McCord

you've use that old cane you found for another purpose: you whittle the hand rest to look like a branch: with a discarded knife: you carve patterns into the rod: running your fingers over the carvings: they feel like ancient meaning: you place that fragment of shell: on an ornate string: attaching it to the hand rest: so it will dangle and hang: catch the breeze and spiral: a dowsing medallion: a cursor: to what?: water: fertile soil: love: but then as though you've changed your mind: you plant the cane in the ground: false tree: you pull a blade of grass: placing it between the sides of your thumbs: blowing between them into your cupped hands: you attempt birdsongs: several green reeds later: a bluebird arrives: cautiously on the end of the old handle: he watches as you throw seeds on the ground: where the medallion said something would be

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About the author:

J. P. Dancing Bear's most recent poetry collections are Conflicted Light (SalmonPoetry, 2008), Gacela of Narcissus City (Main Street Rag, 2006), Billy Last Crow (Turning Point, 2004), and What Language (Slipstream, 2002). His poems have been published in Shenandoah, Poetry International, New Orleans Review, National Poetry Review, Marlboro Review, Mississippi Review, Verse Daily, and many others. He is the editor of the American Poetry Journal and the independent press Dream Horse Press. He is also the host of "Out of Our Minds," a weekly poetry program that features many of America's contemporary poets on public radio station KKUP.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by J. P. Dancing Bear at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 9, No. 4, where "Divining Rod" ran on February 9, 2010. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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