Cloudy Verse

The Hawk's Dream By Donald Everett Axinn Grove Press: $5.95; 97 pp.

He watches the loon dive,

Bluefish ravage and feast; beyond

A thin line of cormorants skim the waves

Repeating the season's ritual

But Axinn rarely manages to find a theme springing directly from the images in his poetry. Rather than asking any questions that might interest the reader, or dealing other than superficially with the images of modern life that now confront all poets. Axinn tries to dodge them by watching birds. He creates a world of his own, fitting images awkwardly into his one-with-nature ideas.


At times, when the confusion of multiple objects does not interfere with his scenes, Axinn writes palatable, single-theme poetry using tidy lines like "I shall fold you into myself." His voice is clear, and he does not create any discomfort for the reader. He is only trying to convey enjoyment.

But unless Axinn begins to deal more seriously with questions instead of pictures, his poetry will become pure fluff. It will remain superficially interesting but lose its challenge. Tricks run out easily, and after all, almost anyone can look at a seagull.