Prithee the Wind

puffins are the masters of a ragged shore
and eager to weep beneath the proud sound of the wind

pennants on the ships stir and run at
the terrible mirth of other birds in the harbor

excited as thorns preparing for the labors
of the dim flesh and the revenge of the woolen coats

the bluffs ride under the sun and roll us nobly home
like rugs that admit their errors and set prayers

into the loom beyond the chime of the windy season
— the size of the September in spring here in the mist

prithee a hundred perfumes after supper with seven brothers
prithee the scholar of snoring who prowls the wrinkles

of a warm bed, his diplomas wearing all white
during a writhing feast of unrelenting grief

raisin bread in the clouds clings to the gentle dark
mums are plucked and approved with blue ribbons

a brick of salt is arranged between the ceilings and sheets
in a raw circle bending toward a cold and far place

where the smell of a learned candle turns to hard wind
traveled by the giants of reason in sorrow


Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself (Word Tech, 2009) and The Century of Travel (Word Tech, 2012). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Notre Dame Review, The Journal, Parthenon West Review, and many other journals in the U.S. He appears as Victor Schnickelfritz at the poetry and poetics blog The Great American Pinup, and he is the vice president and events coordinator of the Sacramento Poetry Center.