Monthly Archives: February 2008

Indeed

 

Even now, the day wide open in its noontime,

the sea as blue and restless as a buried past,

my night’s breathing and sighing for you

     overtakes me.

Rapt in a peculiar bliss, I have bridged

a catalogue of grieving, longer than the naming of ships.

 

Here, in the bellflower’s pendula, the swallowtail

unfurls it’s slender probe into the heart of the bloom

     and drinks.

And the bloom releases the breath of it’s sweetness,

the essential food.       Indeed, I have become,

bliss and bloom and heart and food

    for thee. 

Listening

Listening
(to Eric Whitacre’s Cloudburst)

A young man’s choral
and symphonic works fill
the early hours before light comes
loud over the hill.
No ordinary music, this
as it palpitates the nerve endings,
spine, heart, for signs of life.
It is filled with longing.

Gradually, the tree at my window
fills with birds
of every sort, even those who do not
get on together, the territorial
pairs and their agitated cousins.
How to explain that, and to whom?
Who would listen to birds
who would not listen to bees,
or glacial sheering into the sea
or dolphins, baleen whales, drought, winds
heat and barrenness, terra de-forma.

My companions are deaf.
Acts of war distract us,
while we continue to feed the giant
machines that serve us and eat us
in the same ghastly breath.

.

pbsweeney02.12.2008

(I don’t know Mr. Whitacre, or very much about his music, except the few pieces I have listened to, which I have a feeling are inadequate to fully appreciate him. I am greatly moved. That said, the birds happened and this poem happened, and trust he will not be offended, if reading. You may learn about him and listen to his work here, and I found he also has a blog, here, about his process.)

Snow and Ash

Late afternoon in winter
snow laying in the eddies
in which it fell
No one is going anywhere,
because the light’s failing
turns us back –
back on ourselves
these empty rooms, this cold hearth
where we might kneel
and blow gently into the ash
that may rise and fall and sail up
into the dark of the chimney
while below, under the charred log
and the iron grate,
the sole remaining ember lays buried
waiting for breath.