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By Kevin Goodan

to crave what the light does crave

to shelter, to flee

to gain desire of every splayed leaf

to calm cattle, to heat the mare

to coax dead flies back from slumber

to turn the gaze of each opened bud

to ripe the fruit to rot the fruit

and drive down under the earth

to lord gentle dust

to lend a glancing grace to llamas

to gather dampness from fields

and divide birds

and divide the ewes from slaughter

and raise the corn and bend the wheat

and drive tractors to ruin

burnish the fox, brother the hawk

shed the snake, bloom the weed

and drive all wind diurnal

to blanch the fire and clot the cloud

to husk, to harvest,

sheave and chaff

to choose the bird

and voice the bird

to sing us, veery, into darkness


Kevin Goodan, “(to crave what the light does crave)” from Winter Tenor. Copyright © 2009 by Kevin Goodan. Reprinted by permission of Alice James Books.

Source: Winter Tenor (Alice James Books, 2009)

Poet Bio

Kevin Goodan was born in Montana and raised on the Flathead Indian Reservation where his stepfather and brothers are tribal members. Goodan earned his BA from the University of Montana and worked as a firefighter for ten years with the U.S. Forest Service before receiving his MFA from University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2004. In an interview with Goodan for Astrophil Press, poet Gregory Lawless noted the “breathtaking moments of solitude” of Goodan’s style, which “exhibits both pastoral eloquence and psychological intensity.” He currently teaches at Lewis-Clark State College and resides in Idaho. 

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