The days become windows,
gliding along the low coast of plenty
nearing old age. The silence
is vivid, the colors intense,
the flesh somehow cleansed
by desire. This is its home:
this morning, this world, this space
I have lived in, not unlike
my grand-father, lost among laws
for almost a life-time, charting
the unknown, lacking a map,
taking the world as it comes.
I am once again in wild transit --
as I was on the freights, passing
lover to lover as if among planets
deep forests, wild falls, creatures
nesting among stones, naked
in their newness, in a new world...
Who can dismiss those left behind, dead
on the roadside, or lost to the fires
still burning bright in the mind?
Their faces, hung from the tree of life
glow now, like sephiroths, from inside,
each preserving a self like a world.
The deserts, the rattle of cars,
God heavy in a box we never put down,
our fingers near-broken by seeking --
what was it called to us, willing us on?
And as solitude becomes a dazzlement,
as words are left behind, as time
curls back on itself, undoing the tenses,
befuddling the senses, what remains
to be said? Or what can be seen,
looking outside, at the garden Monet
still sits in, waiting for light? I
smoke a stale cigar, alone on a porch,
crossing the last bridge of sighs,
hearing the songs of the world.
In the painting, "The Man With a Hoe,"
the fields once broken from stones
shine, golden at noon, behind him.
Who is it who brings in the harvest?
Who lives in the chimney-smoke houses?
Those on the edge must keep going,
aware only of the yet still to come,
drawn on by the morning of light.
Theirs is the season of harvests,
the grain as it bends in the wind,
a gratitude sung to existence
when winter comes close to its end.
for life, for death, I practice
the art of aging. Not
what we deserve, but
what we are given: what is allowed us
after the taking, whatever
falls from the tree, all that
can be gleaned, marking
a way in the brightening dusk
alone or with others, at
home or, inside, on the road.
I light a cigar and watch
darkness fall over the wood
learning to think: it is good.