—after The Aim Was Song, by Robert Frost
This measured blowing out of notes
and words—the wind the wind had meant
to be. As if our lips and throat—
as if the aim was instrument.
Some temporary map the mouth
makes of the air will never show
the way wind meant to go. No breath
will ever hold; the current flows
toward where we have no right to hear.
If I arrogantly stave
and bar, wind, blow harder! I can’t bear
what I can’t hold. I’d have you cleave
through any measure, heaving rough
and wrong to catch me—any place unsung.
Your calling’s reach—my highest bluff—
teach me the song beyond the song.
Robert Fanning (he/him/his) is the author of four full-length collections, Severance, Our Sudden Museum, American Prophet, and The Seed Thieves, as well as two chapbooks, Sheet Music and Old Bright Wheel. His poems have been published by Poetry, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Gulf Coast, Waxwing, THRUSH, The Common, and many other journals. A Professor of English / Creative Writing at Central Michigan University, he is the Founder/Director of PEN/INSULA, an online resource for Michigan poets, and the Founder/Facilitator of the Wellspring Literary Series, where he lives in Mt. Pleasant, MI.