Monday, May 28, 2012

one stone on another stone

the stones are stones
tangles of energy that unravel slowly

i unravel faster

what did we expect the world to be?

i lick the evening light from their faces

Friday, May 25, 2012

afternoon beside the river deepens in its own silence

The only real work is to become grass

We stop somewhere beyond the last house
and grip spindly birches for balance
down a steep bank, to take pictures of ferns,

leaves a rich green, lace-like, dreaming,
condensed out of the spring air, rather than
pushing up through the wet debris of earth.

Fronds press like the open hands
of small women on the rough sides of fallen trees,
their leaves ridged with thin veins

like the tracery of fingerprints.
On my knees, I lift one to see the different,
paler green of the underside and then touch

with a finger the secret joining
where the smaller stems branch.
This feels like a valuable intimacy.

But I disappoint myself, becoming soon bored
with beauty, and drift to the edge of the river,
gray under the day’s clouds. Tough, ordinary grass

blows and rustles beside the water.
Nondescript twigs cross and rub together
on leafless bushes I can’t identify.

The river keeps flowing past.
It is that kind of world. No metaphor,
here at some distance from the ferns --

the grass is grass, the twigs
are twigs, and crows in the distance
gloat over some death they have discovered.

(Yes, it is essential to note death.
And the ferns were not really dreaming --
those organic engines for burning leaf rot.)

I lie lost, watching grass, for I don’t know how long.
on my belly, the coolness of dirt seeping in,
the wind and water moving.

Grass will grow through my hands.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

silence in the pause after the invitation to ascend

this is the stairway from the dream where you return to the earth by pushing through a warm membrane into the house where you slept as a child

will you remember the soft bodies?

will you remember what you always see from the upper window?

hide and count to a hundred

will you forget that the sounds you wake then, the turbines thumping in the basement and the squeal of a rusty gate, are only your heart discovering time, your shoes on the stairs describing space?

wait, wait … now leap from a closet and frighten the mirror

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


not the buttery froth of blossoming,
all show and defiance and sex, pulse,
sap, heads one morning in the grass,
eager little sun-warm erections

nor yet the gray spiritual
fluff clocks, sketching their skeletal
longing away from the earth,
that shiver toward the wind and go

but the downward clot of root,
unkillable, fibrous, that sucks wet
from the dirt, breaks upward,
digs in like teeth and grinds the stone

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

only a fault that crosses stone

And others, still others. They tell me
They are the ones who know:
God, they say, tears up all the pages he writes,
And that is the world. Like a flame,
His hatred of the work and of himself,
Of even beauty in the firmament of words,
Blackens the tree of human speech,
This hope.

God is an artist
Who cares only for the inaccessible,
He rants with an artist’s fits of rage.
He fears he’s made an image, nothing more.
He shouts his impatience in thunder.
He insults what he loves:
He’s never learned to hold a face
In his trembling hands.

And what we owe God, they add,
Is to help him destroy: we too must renounce
All desire and all love.
We must turn away in silence.
We must smother light with ash,
So earth will be no more
Than jumbled rocks in a ravine.
So God will be no more than blind,
Unknowing grass, under blindly falling rain.
So our hearts will make
The word, in muddy pools
Of incomprehensible time, no more
Than this matter that dreamed God.

Being: less than stone, they contend--
Only a fault
That crosses stone. A weathering
Of ridges in the rift; a color that waits for nothing,
That means nothing in the light.

Yves Bomnefoy