Vievee's work is powerful and visionary. She takes poetry seriously and demands readers do the same - not with cleverness or posturing, but with incredible skill and wisdom. There's much to gain and learn from her words on multiple levels, each as hard hitting as the next. Here's a representative favorite of mine.
THE SCALE OF EMPIRE
Yet the most distinctive, and perhaps the most impressive,
characteristic of American scenery is its wildness.
Thomas Cole, founder, Hudson River School
The wood that engulfs
an empire of stone
cares only to maintain itself,
to green again the decadent
progressions – discovery,
desperation. Our delusion:
digging into the earth
that submits only temporarily.
Eventually, the vine creeps across
The well-swept patio, up the walls,
then through, under the iron rails.
The overwrought towers bend
to the runners thin as twine,
and eventually stand only in memory
as ruins even the rats won't enter.
Cut back the undergrowth,
seize the molding dead below,
snip the limbs just at the joint,
the discarded apple will have its revenge
in the rotting – feeding the hungry
world that cracks the sidewalk,
sating the birds that adapt
to the landscape of cities
as easily as a winged roach
that nests in the paneling.
So let us go on –
swatting the locusts that decimate
the ordered fields – insisting upon graphs,
the architecture of command and sequence.
The ants have already mastered
the soil. Small emperors of patience,
they walk a bridge of dinosaur bones.
Audio link to other poems: http://www.fishousepoems.org/archives/vievee_francis/index.shtml