Goat’s Eye – by Patricia Nelson

Predators have vertical or round pupils. A goat’s pupil is a horizontal bar that moves, enabling the goat to see far from side to side. The devil is often depicted with goat-like eyes, and separating goats from sheep is metaphor for parting the saved and damned.


Two colors: wet and yellow coin,
black line flat and moving,
the thin of dark coming under a door.

Two curves, above and below,
with hair and skin and shadow
compose the mild, unblessed eye.

Goat goes into the light.
Light goes into eye,
turns the wheeling pupil.

It makes a short wide world
of wolf and pointed grasses.
No dazzle of light above.



You, turn and slide your glances,
your predator’s round eye
with its small black dot.

Part those others from the saved.
From strangeness make your demon
hoofed and horned and oddly eyed.

Swing without thought
your bone-full teeth that sing,
your jaw of words reciting tall light.

Lift your voice as if it knows
those wild, indifferent suns
that say nothing of being blessed.




Patricia Nelson is a retired environmental attorney who has worked for many years with the “Activist” group of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent book is Spokes of Dream or Bird (Poetic Matrix Press).

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