*This is an homage to David St. John’s sentences. It is from a copychange exercise based on the first lines of his poem Until the Sea is Dead. I like doing copychange as a way of understanding the architecture of a poem. I think David St. John’s sentences are amazing – elegant and graceful with stunning curves. So, this is a bit of an experiment in learning how to craft sentences intentionally.
What the child draws, story tells: This broad bold outline of an engine pulling the fainter freight of a foggy cargo, cutting a horizon as it travels the slipping tracks of steel and wooden ties. Every charcoaled boxcar speeds with steam, wheels whirring on rails, lines stretching past the paper landscape, arching into hills that linger on the picture’s edge. Above, smudged wet clouds lumber heavy with thunder and fingerprints half in thought or sketch before all rumbles off the page.