The Illusion of Film

All day, he’d gathered the proof in black and white,
rolls of clouds stretching into unwound cloth,
waving grasses in reflected pools
spiny bushes bent over dark rock,
the daytime moon’s cottony eye
beside a ragged-toothed sun.

The bright, then shadowed mountains,
the falling gestures of light in graying earth,
were there and then gone as he beheld
the clear ribbon of film,
nothing but the transparency of memory
his black calligraphy of birds,
struggling anew for a voice.



Steven Dieffenbacher

About Steven Dieffenbacher

Steve Dieffenbacher has lived in Oregon’s Rogue Valley since 1989. His full-length book of poems, The Sky Is a Bird of Sorrow, was published by Wordcraft of Oregon in 2012. Ranging from Oregon to the Southwest to Latin America, the poems, written over a span of 20 years, are a journey of connections made, lost and rediscovered during a lifetime, with each place lived in or visited becoming a focus for them. His work is also is included in the 2012 anthology, What the River Brings: Oregon River Poems, by Fae Press, and his poem, “Emptiness,” won the 2010 poetry prize sponsored by Cloudbank magazine of Corvallis, Oregon. His poems are in Deer Drink the Moon (2007), an anthology of Oregon poetry published by Ooligan Press at Portland State University; in the chapbooks Universe of the Unsaid (2009) and At the Boundary (2001); in the anthology Intricate Homeland: Collected Writings from the Klamath Siskiyou (2000); and in A Path Through Stone, a 1995 cycle of poems that includes work by Bruce Barton, Jonah Bornstein and John Reid. He also has been published in numerous regional journals. He is an editor at the Mail Tribune in Medford, where he writes a monthly column focusing on nature and hiking for the newspaper's Sunday travel section. He has won various awards for writing, photography, and page design in his more than 35 years as a journalist.
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