June 2, 2011
We are back from Europe and...what? It's hard to say really. I've scaled time zones, have shifted sleep and eating patterns, have shared with strangers, have spoken exotic words, have eaten the cuisines of the regions, have seen these regions themselves. So there is the wind outside now, a soft hush. I have straddled the world in over eighteen hours. My life here awaits me and yet the wind of limbo, this place of “just having come from” and “not yet entering into” is quiet. I want to fill it immediately with poems and writing and memory. With lessons learned. But there should be a time to just...digest. No? Now all of these new memories will integrate themselves into my life. So, traveling and traversing time zones is good for a fresh perspective. Yes.
I only wonder if it will last.
Here are some new poems:
42. Sojourn to Lucerne
We land here asleep. Logistics, maps
abandoned. We follow the river, sit
where the floodgates have opened,
At nightfall- the illuminated banks.
The fat troll at the bridge's gate lies
drunk and requires no fee. Above
him, history resides in the rafters.
Death's debonair bones pose with the
fashionable flesh of life.
We ascend above the ramparts, above
the Earth's crook and curve, half veiled.
Within the hour, the last veil falls to
the soft tussle of bells.
We descend through a path in the wood,
flanked by shrines. Someone has left
nosegays at their footings. We murmur
what we remember of our childhood
We scale the city's walls. Put our
fingers in the holes of the fortress. Touch
We honor the dead masters, wander
their rooms eyeing divine strokes,
pieces of woman, the auburn shift
of light. We weary pilgrims recognize
our own faces
manifested in paint.
Get up. Walk barefoot to the mat.
Sit cross legged. Ring the bowl.
Pet the dog as her cold nose nudges
your hand. Bow to the array of
leaves. Breathe. Twitch. Stretch.
Greet the first arrow.
- The Musee d'Unterlinden
Two American teenage boys point
to something wedged between a wall
and the Crucifixion.
A middle aged French woman in a
chemise blanc and a jupe noir, carries
an unraveled coat hanger. She maneuvers
the hook to snatch a petit oiseau. Drags
it across the ancient stone.
Le petit oiseau sits for a moment in the
woman's hand, stupefied.
The woman closes her hands over
the petit oiseau, carries it to an overgrown
shrub in the courtyard. The petit oiseau
hops, falls, flies haphazardly to the
C'est tous! The woman exclaims.
It lives, says one boy.
For now, says the other.
I am left alone with the absent bird.
Thinking of its fledgling's wings,
it's fledgling life.