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Collected Poems (2j)

August 8, 2018

from An Ordinary World: Section, “Normalities”

On the Dark Bed
your fragrance
lights my eyes
with memory–
that day we walked
the flower paths
at Giverny,
your breathing heavy
with the flattening
of lily pads
against the water,
mine reeling, heady
with a glimpse
of cilia down
on feathery curls
of poppy leaves,
the ripening buds
as confident as fists
raised high by delicate
arms, each bulging
with its thick
red wing

* * *

Over and Over Again

The bell dips and arches.
Shadows fly over the field.

The lovers lock eyes. Their lips

are set, then smile. Are set again.

Leaves nipple and fan. Flame. Drop.

Salt climbs the pitch of pine.

The sea brings its gifts

to the porch of the cottage.

A child dreams at the window.

Grandmother smiles into her yarn.

Fire looks up from the hearth.

In the grass next door, plain faces

congregate the rise and fall of light.

Moss blossoms on their hymns.

The road fingers the slow waves

of the soil. Words kiss and turn

away. Things go on loving. Silence

sits down to her loom. From the fields

come slumberfew, bluefinder, bloodroot,

pearl. Their hours unfurl

in sacs of dew. How easily,

how easily I fall in love with you.

* * *

Pine Cones Ripening

What a wonderful day, sailing the lake
of our laughter! Each billow a pillow,
afloat on the lilt of our bed. On dock
I’m still giddy, a-tilt at the window,
loving the pine tree that shelters our harbor
of whispers from street and from storm.
Its boughs bless like wings of a luna,
or roofs of pagodas, or, look, grassy slopes
on Mt. Fugi. Two green oxen grazing
shoulder to shoulder. Two green doves.

* * *

Report of an Expedition

for Max Weber

1. I hunted the golden pheasant.
It flushed into the sunset.

2. I pursued quail. They called
to each other, ever beyond
the next grey hill.

3. Standing in the edge of darkness, hearing
the whistle of wings in the forest, I thought
I saw the line of woodcocks
winding their swift way among black trunks.

4. Owl light. Wing tips come stirring space.
Night soft as breastfeathers to my cheek.

5. Dawn, perched high in a great elm,
I watch the sweet orioles building below me.

* * *

Rain (Another Dream of My Father)

Pound said almost nothing

when I saw him from the porch
of the Museum of Antiquities

Four times he passed, on his way
along the narrow cobbled streets
between the gray and red walls

Four times he stopped and looked
in silence, fragile, in his creamy
linen suit, black suspenders,
in rain, hands in his pockets
leaning toward me

Four times the soft, faded face,
the short white hair and beard,
stubble cheeks, fallow eyes

Four times I stood confused
of how to know what he wanted
to say, how to say what I wanted
to say to him

And he wouldn’t come up
under the roof of the portico,
what with the crowd, the reception

But later, down the slate steps
and through the smokey voices
at our table he helped me to order
in the language of the local earth
(something before Spain, I think)

And when I opened the book, between
pages somewhere closer to Confucious
than Cummings, rose into light
a polished, blue-gray sculpture,
liquidescent, carved from stone,
crouching panther, crouching Pound

[Pages (2i) and (2k). Page CP (1).]

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