Gargoyle 8
cover photo by Stan Wayman
publication date 12/2/1977

Sky Searching

Sam McMillan

The sky is visionary, but not,
in your case, prophetic.
Clouds take shape indiscriminately
smudge the sky white
reminding us of the familiar;
a cumulus cow grazes the horizon.

Where are they hidden,
the words necessary for your survival?
The stones which once spoke sermons
are heavy with silence. Kick at
them then; they scuff your boots
and sink deeper into dirt.
You too could root yourself in earth
and rot soft like a tuber left too long.

If you hear the creeks speak
it will be only your name
repeated over and over over rocks
until you grow tired of its avowal.

Today after laboring all day under it
only the sky will do for an oracle.
If you had the hundred dollars an hour
to pay some pilot to fly his piper cub up
what would you write on the sky’s blue slate?
Think quick, quick–already the wind
rubs your words illegible.