On Paul Muldoon’s Wings, by Wendy Fulton Steginsky

On Paul Muldoon’s Wings


In one continuous movement stipple

becomes ripple, John shifts to join,

hell morphs to help, posse — possibilities


that are unending as he adds or subtracts

a few letters although sleight erroneously

still sounds like slight. In his head words rise


on thermals, winged creatures that soar,

music seared in their souls. While they float

he merges notes into quirky arias from


Ireland, nocturnes, plucks arpeggios

until they grow heavy, collapse on themselves,

transform into rustling rose petals. From


those piles his nimble mind draws

juice inside dying marrow, composes

new bones for those sounds to live in.


It’s always their sounds he rearranges

like attracting molecules in peptide strings,

a bonding almost beyond his control: fright

becomes freight, pall tumbles into pale,

ever expands to never, finite to infinite.


— Wendy Fulton Steginsky


Wendy Fulton Steginsky is a poet and interfaith minister living in Doylestown, “within,” she writes, “a community of extraordinary Bucks County poets.”