Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Slocan Farewell

1. Ancient Airs of Abandonment 

Wallace, perhaps truth depends
On a lake at vanishing.
Every drop that leaves the lake

Breaks at singularity.
We are singularity,
Rushing to infinity,

Awareness breaking ashore.
We know waves are never still,
And still, we try to wait, still.

I’ve said it before.
I’ll say it again. I will.
If a little knowledge is

A dangerous thing,
Wisdom is surely fatal.

2. Voyages of Recovery

There is something to be said
For poems that fit in the head,
For stones small enough to cram
Into the stonebreaker’s mouth

On highways of macadam.
There’s something to be said
For forgetfulness as well.

The future, because
We’ve forgotten it, beckons.
Stones, poems, and roads behind us,

We’re off, this very moment,
This every very moment,
In search of what chance
And Tupia might find us.

3. Sundowner

It’s August. The sun
Is dropping behind
The peaks by seven,

And I’m not there to see it,
To feel the katabatic
Wind coming down to the shore,

Like a thirsty animal
Come to drink its full.
I will never drink my full,

Not of the waves of that lake.
And by drink I don’t mean drink.
By full, I don’t mean I need

To be in the waves. I need
Waves to keep moving through me.

4. Lone Stone on the Lakeshore

Orphaned solitaire,
The dream of the alchemists,
Unknown to geologists,

The unstated wish
Of every child and adult
Combing through rocks on the beach,

Yes, something unusual,
Maybe something beautiful,
An artifact, a fossil,

A gem, another gold strike,
But not really—the real wish
Is to find the singular,

Unimaginable thing,
Miracle all waves will sing.

5. Irreversible World (after Yang Wanli)

The mountains question the lake.
The lake examines the sky.
A man leaves shore for the waves.
Wind turns the evening waves white.
A wader fishes the creek.
Trees enclose fairy portals.
A beached kayak bobs one tip.

One kayak tip grips the beach.
Fairy doors close in the trees.
Creek fish shadow a wader.
White evening waves spin the wind.
The man leaves the waves for shore.
The sky examines the lake.
The lake asks the mountains why.

6. Let Go of Me

Μή μου πτου

A digital recording
Of a lone trumpet
Belting out the final notes
Of Ma Vie En Rose

Floats down the mostly empty
Center street of the village,
Faint on the fine summer air.

A holiday Saturday,
Early in the evening, light
Still pinking the sky,

And there’s everything
And nothing special
In this memory 
Resurrected. All of Me.

7. The Last Hot Day of Summer in the Slocan

“Time is, above all, this counting of days.”

Waves as small as children’s hands
Make small, soft hand claps
On the stones. The days

Have come ashore with light claps
Also. Someone says,
“Beautiful day. Can’t complain.”

No complaints. It goes away,
Creating an aching sense
Something should be, must be done,

Something to commemorate,
Celebrate, appreciate, 
Something that’s appropriate.

The rhythmic can’t be escaped,
Thought one aching space it shaped.

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