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Saturday, December 21, 2013


by Daniel Bosch

Chinese doctors have saved a man's severed hand by grafting it to his ankle, it is reported. --BBC News, December 16, 2013

Among the amazing inventions
Of the Chinese: pulp paper,
A musical four-line stanza,
A tiny hand carved at the end

Of a bamboo shaft—each
In its way an acknowledgement
Of how often and how painfully
One’s reach exceeds one’s grasp.

Who has not scratched furiously
At a blank sheet, leaving faint scars
When one desired only words
Through which lifeblood flows?

Who has not punched and kicked
At the bounds of thought, only
To find oneself beyond them,
Seeking not a way out, but a way in?

Who has not felt some small thing
Make its glorious revolution
At the top of one’s sock or
Under the cuff of one’s pants?

No hand without extremity.
No mind that will not fold
Like paper. No stanza that will not cut
The breath to shape what one sees.

Every measure taken is temporary.
At the end of any given line
One believes each mute twist of the stick:
This tourniquet’s tight enough.   

Daniel Bosch is Senior Editor @ .