- Little Grey Feather Tinged with Red or Blood
I don't know what to think, standingat the bottom of the hill in the woods.The bare trees reach up. The hillis to my right and on the leftbegins another, steeper hill.We call this a hollow, as if this placewere empty. I like such irony—it won't explain itself, and hereis nothing explicable. We makecomparisons to it, but notthe other way around, exceptto say, the foot of the hill, the headof the hollow. Usually we say,a man has cavernous eyes, so the eyesmean more, and the man himself becomesmore fundamentally defined.Someone could come here and learn nothing.I was raised to think God was involved with this—no, I wasn't raised that way;it was my idea all along,I found it all by myself, standingin the woods when I was a boy, merelya boy looking up at the trees,or down at a feather dropped in the grass,a feather representing bothitself and the bird, and even moreat once, as if it were an art. [End Page 21]
Maurice Manning's most recent poetry collections are One Man's Dark and The Gone and the Going Away. A former Guggenheim fellow, Manning has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and is a member of The Fellowship of Southern Writers. He teaches at Transylvania University and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.