Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Home Poems: for the Northernists and my Father

All the Moths in My Hair Will Swarm to This Light

The broken branches of the mulberry tree still cling on their living brothers.
They will not fall until a strong wind comes;
My father will not pull them down.
Small trees I once could not climb have surpassed me.
“Son, you can carry me now.”
The tadpole is dried up with the puddle.
The sage blooms, the sage flowers in purple. The ferns converge around the rocks and northern wall. Woolly mint swallows up the strawberry bed. And I am content to watch.

Hurry home, heart. Gather up your frayed ends. Leave behind the noise of yesterday; consume the sunlight before it fades.
Who is to say this will be here tomorrow?
So close now, like your brother knocking on the wall between your rooms,
Like your Mother’s photographs looking like you, suddenly,
Like cut grass clinging to the tops of your feet.
The grass is strewn with fur.
Stop this harried grasping after life and observe:
What went before you, and what will happen after.
You are a small pear blossom. Flower now, and shrivel bravely.
Do not call fruit a burden, though it bears you down.

Carry on a conversation with the sparrow, the thrasher, the cormorant, the wren. Let the slow wisdom of the grebe seep in. Support the hearty robin, respect the hardened city pigeon.
You are not nidifugous; stay at home while there is a home to have.
And make it glad.
You returned too late for the may-apple, the child of the mandrake, the sole fruit of its two umbrella-arms.
Now wait another year. Years see changes you would not expect. Cast your crumbs upon the waters, for in many days you will find full bellies in your wake.
Loved, loved, loved, comes with every wind.
Do not forget it.

The tadpole is dried up with the puddle.
The grass is strewn with fur.
And there are thorns in the honeysuckle.
But the grass, trees, and sky combine in fireflies
And the porch light signals me to come inside.

Another Old Cliché

One thing that grows harder with time
Is believing.
Seeing only the day-to-day leaves a tannic aftertaste.

Then sorry thoughts bend their lips to my ears, asking me why am I so old?
Better save the bitter for the winter, when all the world embraces aged thoughts.
It seems somehow wrong to be weary in spring.

Leads to another life are hinting at me from the trees, the gasping fish, the headless snake.
One thing never leaves:
The empty space.

Spring leaves stick closer together
In numbers.
Safety is found in knowing you are free falling

And stretching out your arms to the air.

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