Saturday, January 23, 2010

Yet Another Poem re. Life, Death &c.

All True, All Real

Late afternoon, sunlight washing across the snow

through the bare maples, the ragged locust

the fieldstone walls –

today my father feeling his age,

his energy swiftly ebbing, so he said,

though he walks and works as always

I walked alone down to the pond

the deer carcass on the ice now gnawed

down to fur and rib-cage

across to the hedgerow, the brambles,

a few shafts of light seeping down

from the rise, undulant on the white

I hop the wall into the cemetary

say hi to Gramps and Grandma Alice

wander the crunchy crust among the veterans

each with their small flag illuminated

in respectful silence

and the oldest stones now illegible

lines of poetry trailing off into lichens,

some who lived through nearly all

of the nineteenth century

now fallen from their small base

and lying in the snow; others still spiffy

and honored with plastic flowers and bunnies.

Later, from the picture window we saw

a grey fox loping south, pausing now and then

to listen for mice under the crust of the snow.

Addendum: 3:00 am, January 23rd

The dividing line – infinitely thin, intolerably bright –

the mind's unknowable event horizon

the fox skimming over the snow's crust...

Three lines to sum up life and death?

Could be sheer gall, a thumb in God's eye;

could be mere courage, laughter in our marrow.

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About Me

My photo
He clasps the crag with crooked hands; Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ring'd with the azure world, he stands. The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls, And like a thunderbolt he falls.