Saturday, May 29, 2010

GROTTO OF THE GNOSTIC ANGEL

The past comes to an end
reversing itself
as we ourselves restore
the future
contriving for remove
a garden
of ornate resemblance

The past is a country
remembered by immigrants
who pushed through cities
trusting to find a sky
that flattened land for grasses
and for the unadorned to plow

Our heat is heavy with water

Alongside stones we nudge
the reclaimed chinaware and glass
travelled to set up house
(and house again)
into a studded concrete shrine
wherein we recognize
our person reassembled

The two who have conspired
to hold each other off
yield there as one,
oafish, unable to stand upright
without a hand to help

Wings, no less unlikely,
catch the eye, averted
from the guardian’s
remote and placid gaze
above the whirlwind
of our parents
driven back through youth
returned to the old country
changed into grandparents

We are left with trowels 
wheelbarrows and truckloads of stone
to revive the grotto
with forms of promise
fulfilled and then abandoned
and hues of restlessness
inimical to settlement

The angel stays implacable,
as if a figurehead at sea

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LIT BY THE SKY

Light crackled
ringing form
huddled beside form
as dancers
might appear tonight
with movement
to uncoil heat

The sky was always cold
before the accident
a slip of ice
off ice ignited
and the slivered fall
brought blaze
to a water landing
where fire floated
the circumference
between birth
and wolflike
memories of time
behind the birth

The forms had stretched
awakening with necks
and shoulders
voices that crescendoed
into wind aroused
to carry skin across
the circle’s flaming moat
for us who wander
shivering and hungry
through outmost dark’s
crystalline enactment

We dress in the fresh wraps
call for our memory
and feel heaviness
collapse upon the chest
as our stumbling aligns
with the indistinct contour
of a dance at far remove
and just now ready
to get going

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

TWO HEARTS

I saw two hearts as birds.
The first, a silver fledgling
in the landscape’s one tree
polished the sky

when it took wing,
and in its place,
a brilliant sun
declined to nest.

Years ran down feelings,
as if the brooding
had not hatched.
The light came on

one night in the kitchen’s dark
when I opened the refrigerator,
which was empty,
except for the frozen bird

that seemed centuries old
sitting there on a platter.
As I reached in
to pick it up,

the bird’s skin turned translucent
and I could see the heart
inside was pumping.
My hands went right in the bird

and I took up the heart,
which was good-sized,
lifting it out
with both hands.

I am holding the heart
in my hands
and it is spilling blood
onto the floor.

The tenderness I feel
mixes with yearning.
I think the red color
of the blood is flattering,

and I don’t want to get
myself in trouble,
taking back
what belongs to me. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

LOCK-DOWN

  “Escape did not promise anything worthwhile.”
                                                    - Chekhov

The rickety door opens out
from a dark room
onto a screened porch,
as far as oneself will go
(resigned to nonviolence)
to make his sense, halted
at sight of the uncut meadow
past low sweeping pine boughs
birds prepare
in the faltering light
for lock-down.
The bent figure of an aged woman
he had once seen buried
continues her ceaseless rooting.