Daniel Cowper – SEARLE’S CHINESE ROOM PROBLEM
SEARLE’S CHINESE ROOM PROBLEM
Dark-winged cedars are flocking
by the lakeside: goffered
with oar-feathers of sun;
over the water like cormorants
sunning their wings. Sick of walking
this loop with me, you’d stayed home. Overhead
the crisscrossed limbs are tangled, locking
together. Wind flowing through
this weir of plashed branches stirs
the boughs, and bark rubbing against bark
whistles and chitters like a grove of birds.
Where the branches chafe, their wooled grooves
(rawed Tyee-pink) chirp and keen until grosbeaks
and siskins answer, mistaking
the cedar’s twitters and squeaks
for birdsong. And maybe we’ve made
the same mistake. Maybe we’re
no more alike than the songbirds
and the cedar weir.
Daniel Cowper is a poet and writer from an island off the coast of British Columbia. His poetry has appeared in various literary publications, including Prairie Fire, the Literary Review of Canada, the Dalhousie Review, and Contemporary Verse 2. He is currently working on a poem sequence called ‘Winter Devotional’, and a novel about a love triangle tentatively entitled ‘Owl, Heron, Wren’.
To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website here: