Thursday, June 10, 2010

17. Lake and Light

The entry is at the point of ending,
where it all might exist,
recorded, as if we could remember it,
at length, which we rarely can. Upon
the pages of the proper record books
where we would find it in a plain
and legible hand as writing
or in print or in symbols of drawing,
it is there and in that way that we might
see it, or by photographic process or even
partly in writing, partly in printing,
and partly in symbols of drawing,
or it could appear partly by
photographic process or by any combination
of writing, printing, drawing, or photography,
or either, or any two of them. In that way,
we could remember it, because we could
see it, or also by means of reproduction
by microphotography or other
photographic process and kept on film
as image. You see the face as
a page of writing you might not
have seen before, and you can read it
as a page of writing of a loved one
you remember but who has been dead
for a long time, longer than you can
remember, even though you believe
she is still or he is still living and
about to visit us. In this way,

it is that you experience the world,
a gentle light in the morning coming
slowly to while you still sleep, the glassy
water dark to the touch, though you
do not touch it, eventually loon warble,
breeze entering the window with
sunlight, and water dancing as light
on walls and ceiling. You look
deep into your eyelids and might seem
blind but you are watching the night,
waiting for the beginning of that day.
What rustles first is the lake, lightening,
lightening still, until it is daylight,
then mist off its surface, then air,
the breath that you make through
mouth, and finally a word of yours
that wakes you and begins the day.

You see what you say, and the first boat
on the water is someone you do not know
but wonder who he is, or she, at such distance
that there is no person, but only a boat
moving itself across the surface, an arc and
a slicing into that heals itself through these
undulations upon ululations. The water sings,
but it doesn’t make a sound itself. You say
what you see, and hemlock shadow covers
your face. You feel green in the cool shade,
in the sun, with the breeze running through
your fingers, you cannot catch it. Cup of coffee
and a muffin, and you can fashion
a breakfast. You have thinking, but you keep
it close, and it comes out as questions
before your day, Who Himself reigns over you.
Only sleep is your dominion, where dream
runs like water and a thought out back through
to your childhood, where the salad dressing
sandwiches were scarce in their plenitude.
You wonder what the word is, where
you are, who these people are who
circle you as satellites to a forgotten planet,
so you are never alone.

You have a daughter who is writing
or riding, who is made of words or of horses,
and she is quiet beside you and your questions,
able to help with the words she can find
scattered about you and lost in your hair.
You have a daughter who is playing piano,
and she is made of notes and sounds and
open echoings in the office of your mind,
and she wonders around you, between your
fingers that cannot catch the light, among
the thoughts you release into air, maybe
as seeds buoyed by breeze or small and silent
insects made of nothing but wings. What you

want is wanting, and you find yourself
each day in the place you are, feet planted
on the ground, you might grow into the giant
hemlocks that overwhelm you, that have
the memories you have lost of forty years, no,
more, in this place where the water sits,
flat in a bowl, as if a permanent thought
of a desire you cannot recall. In this way,

you turn 80 and towards this direction, with less
than everything but more than meaning, meant,
now it is all meant, and solid, a life well lived,
a red wine in the evening, and whatever evening comes
whenever it comes means that you might sleep
another night into dreaming of your mother, who
is living in you, of your sister, who is living in you,
of your father too. Though they might be ghosts,
they surround you like a family, a struggle of
memories, the bedclothes kept tight, then tighter,
right under your chin.

1 comment: