"Yes, I do wish to go back there", "Our time is not yet" & "Is this how we enter the dream?"
[ poetry - october 08 ]
"Yes, I do wish to go back there"
Yes, I do
wish to go back there -
the south bedroom of that rickety halfway house,
the tall window and the hill beyond
laced with purple digitalis.
There is an elegance in uncertainty;
when I circled the house the land was barren,
only a twisted tree shedding its shadow
which turned endlessly in the sun,
and never chose a path.
And the figures that walked past the window -
men in cricket whites, women in sky-blue bonnets,
and once a dog that laid its forepaws
on the glass and yapped, then ran,
giddy at a chance taken into the guessed-at.
Yes, I do wish to go back there -
the dusty wooden walls, the way night
kept its distance. There were only mornings
rousing slowly to blown flowers and summer light.
Yes I do wish it. But I made that decision then
to step out into the dark, under the ebb of stars -
to no longer continue alone.
"Our time is not yet"
Our time is
not yet. Though snowdrops
crawl from the dark dew
and quiver soundlessly in the wind,
this is not a world to return to.
Let us dole out hours like perennials,
peering from the dirt so keen
for the sun that our faces take its shape.
But I misspeak: we must not articulate
the celestial, but reckon the manner of clay,
the claggy marshes where what we drag
with each suctioned step
is a new vowel uttered in winter's tongue.
Nor should we scratch our words in black
for fear of gloom-shouldered crows
hunkering where the trees are torn
precisely into silvered air. We will carry
scads of nihil in our pockets, in our hearts.
Whatever comes from nothing
merely has further to go.
"Is this how we enter the dream?"
Is this how
we enter the dream? Something
to measure how long we can dive
before coming up for air - the clock is useless,
pale-faced and fearful. But listen:
in the corridor the dog is tapping a banister
with his hardwood tail. He slathers and chomps
because we do not feed him, or remember
that we split this house with beasts.
The dog is always dead and starving, knocking
at anything that does not resemble a door;
we pound and shout but do not wish
for revelation. So we swallow the stone of silence
like diving-birds, loving gravity's umbilical tug,
and find a stranger beating at the wall,
before turning into something of ourselves -
a bowl of apples slowly rotting; a window
on the landing, framing stars; this doubtful barrier
which now reveals its latch, and opens.