Mark Wunderlich

Stone Arabia
June 9, 2012 Wunderlich Mark

Stone Arabia


The horses bisect the field

pull the cutting plow,

guided burden, churning

a soil-fold, wave of earth

turned up


for the gulls to pick; they

follow the farmer, cut the

April air with hollow-boned wings

scurrying beetles,

grubs and red worms

the wages


for following the plow’s wake.

The field turns from tan and


to uniform brown,

lowliest color on the wheel


offset by a fencerow

where the wren’s syrinx bursts

with the air-blast

of a tiny lung—wind thimble

muscle-trill—warbling with

the sexual urge to build.


Black cows punctuate

the green page of pasture,

move in cued diagrams,

knee-deep in spring-flush

mouths bent to grass, growing

the soft bones of fetal calves

on alfalfa, white clover


which they pull

from the fallow field

while the whiff

of their sweet-smelling shit

is wound in the spool

of this sentence.

Mark Wunderlich’s most recent book of poems is The Earth Avails, which was published by Graywolf in 2014, and which received the Rilke Prize. He is the director of the Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in NewYork’s Hudson Valley.