Saturday, June 28, 2014

Peter Marin:


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.


Readying myself

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.

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