Assembling the Earth

 [Poetry], Assembling the Earth  Comments Off on Assembling the Earth
Aug 312011

Look with me at what we call,
Substantial or ephemeral,
All of Earth, where we must end,
And all of sky's over-awning All:
Sense the sub-stratum and the theme
Dawning out of sincerer dream.
Note how dark must always end,
How Earth's quickened sharps of light
Coalesce by pixels until we see
Lightly lightninged twig-ends,
Dew-draped, shiver and invite
Greater light, or light's dark reverse
The odor of more crowded trees
Blends with the musk of night.
I sort my knowledge into verbs:
I did, I can, I do, I can't.
And other more what-ifs I list:
I shall, I wish, I shan't, I want.
And a thousand thousand others 
Unvoiced, unheard.

All that puts a soul at ease
Enough to stammer and confess
The inconvenient, the gulped absurd,
Or to think a something mystic
Rather too simplistic,
Brings the daunting Earth to words,
And helps to carry, as you guess,
Our everything to is.

I kept a million themes beside my bed
In a rosewood box with a turtle,
With one working tin hinge beside
The turtle decaled spread-eagled;
I left the springed hinge untried,
And added blanks to the map
On the warm rosewood back 
Of the rose-boned wooden turtle.
It was better, or so I deemed,
To live unknowing and to dream
Than know every meaning's means.
I kept the box beside me a thousand days,
An indian symbol of the Earth,
Unopened save as a question may
Discover unbidden worth,
The way a kiss becomes a question,
A new-burned feeling without borders,
A meeting, this meeting, --here,--
Solemnly together without a seam
In loving and in waking dream

A part or portion 
Of the natural order,
Opening and answerless,
In a realness of air.

The Ever-Arriving River

 [Poetry], Rehearsing Repetitions on the Rappahannock  Comments Off on The Ever-Arriving River
Aug 212011

How do we know we have arrived?

No gate blows open, no trumpet swings wide
Giving boogie-oogie oogie-boogie to the countryside.
Our horses must feed on grass, or perish.
So, too, our souls.  Having gone down the long defiles
All night, in a night that is not sure of ending,
Our souls paw their bellies and howl.
Even a ghost craves ghostly sustenance.

Have we arrived then, when midnight creaks
And starved souls howl at the wolvish moon?
Or must we still, in our hunger, kneel and pray?
Must a glittering track shiver in the sleepy pines
For the last mile shimmied on our knees?
Bend at that track, and drink with tragic hands,
With hands encased in silver to their wrists.

Drink and drink;  drink deep, O traveler--
Tomorrow we must find this river again.