Saturday, May 3, 2014

G. E. Schwartz: Walk Notes As Hastily Put Down


on resinous leaf buds, the
first woodbees blur their velvet, and
walkers—new with babies—stroll. Holy Week,
filled to overflowing with sounds, charged with memories
of dazzling colored Easter eggs, the Garden of Gethsemane,
the St. Matthew Passion, youthful
enthusiasms, first loves, the first fine taste
of sorrow. White trillium—wavy-edged petals,
sepals narrow and short, leaves unstalked, in cool,
shaded woods. On my walks, never do I distinguish
between indicts and urges and charges within me and the concert of
growing things whose thousand voices sensesurround
from without. I walk  by the suburb’s edge, breeze
brushing my face just as it caresses
the assenting Trillium, but as it swirls up a stream of
memories in me like dust clouds, reminders of pain, transience, brevity, evanescence
rising in my blood to notice, to awareness, to consciousness. Slate stone on the path,
weathered-flimsy, but stronger than me. Ragged tree at field’s edge, you
will outlast me,
and perhaps so will you, lost lilac bush, and perhaps
even you, passing trillium. For a single breath I sense more
profoundly than ever the transience of my form, and
feel drawn into transfiguration—to
the stone, the earth, the trillium, the abandoned lilac bush.
My thirst for signs of passing,
the water, the withering of petals. Tomorrow, the day after, soon,
soon I shall be you, I will be leaves, I will be dirt, I will be roots,
the poetry will run out, be done, I will no longer pay the mortgage,
the electric, the gas bills, I will no longer be pestered by TSA officers
as I fly from place to place, and
so—swim cloud in the blue, flow water as drainage to pond and beyond,
bud leaf on mountain ash, I have sunk into oblivion
and into my 1,000-x’s-longed-for
10 and a hundred times more you will grasp me, amaze
me, hold me, wordworld, opinionworld, peopleworld,
increasing-pleasure-and-fevered-fearworld. 1,000 times
you will delight me, terrify me, with Eric Dolphy songs,
Bach Cantatas on my I-Pod, with newspapers, blogs,
with text messages, with obituaries, with registration forms
and with all your crazed odds and ends, you, World
full of pleasure and fear, breath-burning song
of melodic nonsense. But never more, may it be granted,
will you be completely lost to me, devotion to transience,
passionate music of change,
readiness for death, desire somehow pressing on and on.
will always return, pleasure will always become fear,
fear will always become redemption, and the song
of the past will accompany me on my way without grief,
filled with assertion, avowal,  affirmation, filled with readiness, with ease, filled
with hope. So, walk… move on.

--G. E. Schwartz

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