Poetry-Leonie Mikele

Paucity of Thought and the Consciousness of Lower Species

Leonie Mikele


Kneel. Shut your eyes. What’s lost

bounces back. Thickens to a rock.

If you’re lucky

if you think

you’re human. Silicon-oxygen

in tetrahedra--

a church laid out in space, for instance--

quartz out of so much paper. Bet a blue jay brain

it’s simple. Design.

The engineers of real


the half-remembered, third-recalled,

not-yet-postulated, dismember

what ricochets out of time….

Stick to steps and line.

But to real-ize is to abstract a sum

from disparate wings—

a feather here, claw, air sacs, beak.         

When it veers above you—not hard.


But difficult. Thought. Ethereal

as a Lyceum of Flight for birds is—

liquid as pouring concrete

is, boxing with administrators,

is, making numbers meet is.

It’s a bird bath.

Viscous thought.

Even if all you’ve got’s

one graphite stub, one T-square nicked on all edges,

a degree in landings where tough and disenfranchised

are the names of the tempo we live in—



Here, in glory of all its parts

is: lungs, air sacs, bones of

laces, pin feathers, mandibles,

crops, culverts, claws,


miasmas of brain--stores, counts,

seeds in places, scoring

oratorios, programs

of parts, reckoning air

in inches, feathers


from branch

to branch.


To make it to human—

                you have to win some race. The prize

is to measure

                girth and weight. A brain. Then. Fathom

a yard--

its yews, graves. Skeletons

of timbers, mortar tucked, cairns of stones.

Metal. Poured, cooled, beaten, dragged,

steadied, hoisted, hinged,

flown apart.


For thieves.

The sting. The fever. The flood-ness of.


                For pity. The robbers.

Skins. Eyes. Poor.

Absent wings.

Re-see a symbol, brain. See it.

                                                It speaks barrier, brain.

                                                Recall re-call as an act.

Frontier, perimeter, limit, stop. Knowing, knowing, periphery, stop.

                                Do you recall

it was glass.