Friday, July 1, 2016

James Burbank

Three Takes and a Riposte

Bone I turned over and over in my
hand  complexity of it 
whiteness starkness angles many
ridges and summits that have
never been explored except
for the flicker who assaults
at every opportunity why are
we blind to that
poverty of this moment with
skull in hand picking at dry
corners why? Look there into
my own death turning that
over and over in my hands

Up on that ridge nothing
can be said that has not been
said before into clear
blue air all those trees
speaking to one another
throughout time weigh
on the heart and bring
tears to the eyes old eyes those
blind eyes those that see beyond
nothing  stars or clarity
even beyond
in wind in air in
Sometimes a
blessing lies hidden
and other times open
to air and the
incidence of touch
how remains the edge without choice
sharpness where remains
time and the
redtail hawk over
deep canyon small
creature invisible
below beneath leaf
Some years back my
favorite way up the ridge
back of old turtle mountain
an older tree still against a
bear-scratched stump
upward seeming
forever upward
and out over the river
plain home again I
cry out nowhere
to hear no one
Sometimes the dead
live more than the living
and the living have
no appreciation for
what it takes to
sit still inside nothing

James Clarke Burbank

The resurrected duende press presents The OxBow Poems, Slow Walks on the Rio Grande, poems and photographs and writings by Mr. Burbank. See his website.

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