Thursday, January 20, 2011

241. These Ears of Ours

The smallest unread books
are the poetical works
of writers we can no longer
understand the voices of

We are deaf
to their words
and their words
are invisible
to us

The most vital books
we forget to read
are those we make of
ourselves just as our
aunt and sister-in-law
created the book that
was her life just as
all of us create
each other’s lives

We are born into
the inescapable arc
of our living


Rose bengale à Couer blanc et Hépatique

Here I am

returned to place
found as myself within the barriers of the past
come here for the end of a future

but not the

Within the boundaries of this room
where we sit with her

who is silent
who is motionless
whose skin is cold
her flesh stiffened
by the preparations of death

there are placed
against the walls
quiet prints that name for us

(in French)
a random collection of flowers

I read them silently
to myself to hear
the foreignness of their names
and faces

One of them has a white heart

one drained of blood

and most are somehow
whitened out of fact
and into the considerations of memory


Giroflée rouge et Géranium blanc

As I was born here
so has she died here

as every beginning
leads to an end

Around the block
and walking for a sense
a renewed memory of winter
in this place of
birth and death
and I see the plantings
people have set around their homes
those vegetable beings
left in continuous place
beyond the corporeal time
of peripatetic bodies
who do not stay in place

We are gyrations
in bodies of thought
and movement left
or moving through
but unconfined by
space except that
our minds make it so


Laurier blanc et Liserons

The sky is white in the imagination
to form a page against which the plants
can stand in silhouette and contrast
every feature created in pencil or watercolor

and the plants are not
the plants of my current home
slumbering through winter and ice

This modest neighborhood supports
jade plans four feet tall, slender young
eucalyptus that I don’t know if they’ll grow
into the giants that cover the ridge
to the west of us, rosemary, lemon trees
burdened by bearing, palm both tufting
into bushes and stretching into thin tubes
up over the housetops, even birch.

What gives birth
in each place
of our habitation
are these plants
set in the ground
to exceed our time
for staying here


Rose bengale élégant et Oreilles d’Ours

We bear the burden
of the loss of a woman
with us less than a tree
through the sidewalk
but meaning more
even in her disappearance
from us

We listen with the ears
we see with to the voice
she doesn’t make a sound with
and all we hear is breathing

and all we hear
is the singing
of her lungs

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