Tag Archive: Drone

Jun 19 2013

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Predator

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Predator

With apologies to Wallace Stevens

Other readings: “On Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”


Among twenty snowy mountains,

The only moving thing

Was the X-47B.


I was of three minds,

Like a Predator A

In which there are three missiles


The Reaper circled in the autumn winds.

It was the eye of the operation.


A marine and his rifle

Are one.

A marine and his rifle and a Raven

Are one.


I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of inflections

Or the beauty of innuendoes,

The Hellfire explosion

Or just after.


Icicles filled the long window

With barbaric glass.

The shadow of the drone

Crossed it, to and fro.

The mood

Traced in the shadow

An indecipherable cause.


O thin men of Haddam,

Why do you imagine golden birds?

Do you not see how the Global Hawk

Circles the heads

Of the women about you?


I know noble accents

And lucid, inescapable rhythms;

But I know, too,

That the predator is involved

In what I know.


When the drone flew out of sight,

It marked the edge

Of one of many circles.


At the sight of drones

Flying in a green light,

Even the bawds of euphony

Would cry out sharply.


He rode over Washington

In a glass coach.

Once, a fear pierced him,

In that he mistook

The shadow of his equipage

For an RQ-7.


The village is a ruin.

The Predator must be flying.


It was evening all afternoon.

It was snowing

And it was going to snow.

The Predator sat

In its hangar.