2005: Mark Doty, “In the Airport Marshes”

A kind of heaven,
this clamor, a lulliloo: “to shout joyously,
to welcome with cries, from a cry
of joy among some African peoples”:

Webster’s New International,
1934, a foot-thick volume deftly marbled
as this patch of marsh.
Today I require the term and there it is …

these definitions wait to be lived,
actual as these frogs, who chorus
as if there’s no tomorrow, or else
they’ve all the time in the world.

We ruin the rain, they go right on
this year. Hard to imagine
the eagerness of a body which pours itself
into this — bodies you have

to take on faith, since all they seem
to be is chiming Morse
belling out long-short
over the patched tarmac

of the runway. I have never
till now needed the word lulliloo.
How do you reckon
your little music? 

About Mark Doty

Mark Doty was born in 1953. He recently has published School of the Arts: Poems (2005). His other books of poems include Source (HarperCollins, 2002); Sweet Machine (1998); Atlantis (1995), which received the Ambassador Book Award, the Bingham Poetry Prize, and a Lambda Literary Award; My Alexandria (1993), chosen by Philip Levine for the National Poetry Series, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and Britain's T. S. Eliot Prize, and was also a National Book Award finalist; Bethlehem in Broad Daylight (1991); and Turtle, Swan (1987). He has also published Heaven's Coast: A Memoir (1996), which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, and Firebird (HarperCollins, 1999), an autobiography. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill, Rockefeller, and Whiting foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Houston, Texas, where he teaches at the University of Houston.

(Source: Biography from the American Academy of Poets Web Site)