Thursday, July 25, 2013

can you tell me

can you tell me who all these people are
     where they come from, where they're going?
          can you tell me who is sitting and who
               is standing, posing for the camera?

we sit on the edge of the bed beside
     the window overlooking the lawn, the dunes
          the sea, the white curtains fluttering in the salt air.
               he takes the 8x10 from my hand and is silent

remembering, recalling the blood ties
lives frozen behind the glass.

a little smile and then these are my parents indicating
     with his finger an attractive old couple in the center,
          and these are my sisters and brothers
               at this point he gives them names—his parent's children

and the children's children. the newest ones
aren't even in the picture—the children's children's children.

(it is for one of the newest ones
that some of us gather in the big old house
by the sea to celebrate a one year birthday.)

i replace the frame on the dresser
     and we leave the quiet of the room
          and plunge again into the motion, the heat
               the fine noise that humans make

and marvel at the size of this ordinary clan
     this wealth in sheer numbers
          like the swish, the swoon of the depths, the vast
               untamed blueness caressing multitudes of dolphins and fish

we enter into the unbearable, the improbable
     the unexplainable wonder of it
          the weight that keeps us, presses us
               that holds us in place.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

the lost key


in the clearing beside the hall called mercury
amidst the ancient industry of living things,
the buzz and song and whir of insects
and birds, stands a craggy crowd
live oaks and post oaks with sun scorched
wind hardened bodies marked

with many rings, lines in endless circles
rough brown arms and elbows and living hats
of vivid green tip toward earth and eavesdrop
glad, bright and shining in the celebration's glade
where the old fragments we are certain and you are lodged
now reach them and the company gathered below them

now find their way new again, the way of remembrance for,
remembrance of, remembrance toward, forward, beyond 
remembrance because this day when the key is lost is the day
we witness two beings offering words engraved
round and round eternity, the day come, the day gone again
the trees motionless in the blossoming hush of evening
the stars a rising flourish in the southern sky
unlock delight in the vow stay there forever.