Poetry of Robert Fisher
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Poems 2007

Rattling
Toward Taksim
Poems by

Robert L. Fisher

2007

Trolley


I bore my arms into the earth,
Into the currents of the spinning core,
From roots I take into myself the vital sap of ancient forests,
I become a dynamo charged with
The force of shoots breaking the surface,
Of a vixen nursing her whelps,
Of fish clouding the lake with spawn,
Of moss covering rocks and trees facing the sun.
I then grasp your wrists
And pass into your pulses the power
Of our burgeoning world.
Your blood is the color of old iron
And flows through your veins with the ease of a youth
Cutting swaths of sweet hay with his hissing scythe.

I wave my parallel arms like signal flags,
And the birds of the air glide into formation,
And there is your father, the great white owl with his silent wings,
And there our dear lost friend, the albatross, sufficient unto himself,
Birds of every sort whispering to me what they have learned,
Watching the shadow of night sweeping across great cities,
Watching the inhabitants falling into slumber
Block by block, house by house,
Watching the land flex and heave,
Watching and circling and overhearing
The earth chanting to itself.
I place my palms on your temples
And what passes into you is like the flashes of light
Birds see from all the scattered wells of the world,
And reflected into them their grace and plumage,
Fleeting, like moments of ecstasy.

I watch the women walk,
Voluptuous and elegant,
In the ancient city,
And one I send to you
And she enters your very marrow,
She and you break through the plaster wall
In the grotto of Monte Cristo,
And before you, all alight, is the vast wealth of Cardinal Spada,
Yet she is a treasure far beyond gems and pearls.
She is that tingling at the base of your spine
When you hear the cello
Or see great ships pass under the bridges of the Bosporus.

I give you this airy yet fervent thing,
This castle and these knights,
Enchanted forests, dragons and maidens,
Peasants broadcasting seed,
A kingdom in a thimble,
Or: is it that
You are the ever-rolling ocean,
The surf thundering against the shore,
And at once the rock dissolving into the sea?

January 9th, 2007

 

Our Friend No Longer Walks Among The Living

Our friend no longer walks among the living,
But is translated, not into words in a strange alphabet,
Rather into that bluish phosphorescence behind the dolphin
As it furrows the sea south of Rhodes.

Once I saw him in the vermillion of the poet’s brush
As he slid onto the paper.
He swirled for a while in the inkstone,
Mixing with the water carried from the spring
And with the wolf’s hair tapering from its bamboo shaft,
Now with his color
Guiding the poet’s words.

By midday the rocks of the canyon wall are soaked in sunlight,
And it is then our friend sings with the rarest voice,
Sometimes a moan like a pine split by wedges of ice
In a forest in Kamchatka,
Sometimes eerie like the subaquaeous calls of whales
As they skirt a southern continent.
His colors sing as the rocks can no longer bear his beauty
And release him into the twilight.

Once I felt his heat long before I saw him,
In the night, cooling,
His red in veins mottled with grey,
As the lava of a new island glowed and displaced the sea.

Since then I have seen him as the silver coating a seal climbing onto black cobbles,
Or as the violet and green in the eyes of women purring with desire,
Or in the fire playing about the logs in the grate,
And casting a shadow play for the old men sipping brandy.

But today he is yesterday’s light
Trapped in the snow falling from a leaden sky,
The whiteness inside the mounds and drifts
Where once was a wall or road,
A stream or a field of yellowing wheat stubble.

January 26th, 2007

For Jaan Puhvel on his 75th Birthday

Our boat bobs behind the blind

Our boat bobs behind the blind
And on the marsh at Matsala are rows of
Wavering white flames,
Each a swan singing,
And each mother singing to her cygnet.

You say, “Madli, there’s an ancient song!
About a walled city
And a boy frightened of his own father,
Till he removes his helmet
With the long mane.
His wife sees in his eyes their son’s death
And her enslavement.”
You tell me about songs of heroes in leopard skins,
And goddesses roving the mountains with wolves.

Your brother glides toward us
And we pass the word-hoard to him.
He poles to shore and in his cabin
By lamplight translates the songs,
Keeping short and long vowels in their proper places.

Our only respite is when the sun
Bathes us in twilight
And all too soon sets us aglow
In a new dawn.

They think us mad, on this mission
To record songs of swans,
These visitors from far off,
But where exactly is unknown.
We are like the lutinist in his scuffed shoes
And fraying jacket,
Accompanying his wife’s singing of Dowland
To small crowds in old churches:
‘Where night’s black bird hir infamy sings…’

The birch forest takes on that eerie, slant light,
And the swans arise like a thousand Paracletes
And head toward the Blue Nile.

The snow dampens our world
And even the ticking of the clock is loud.
Our pens scratch over the paper
And the air is blue with your latakia.

Our thoughts wander to spring,
To caulking the boat and scraping barnacles.
We wonder, too,
If this will be the summer
When we hear coming across the bay
The sounds of our own names.

April 4th, 2007

 

At My Son’s Grave on the Third Anniversary of his Death

The lilies pink and dotted with the word woe,
The carnations in primary reds and cyan and yellow,
Pass into my son’s black stone
And wave on the other side of his name and dates,
There to delight him in his long peace.
My son knows we must busy ourselves
With trimming stems and lighting candles,
With filling watering cans and clearing away leaves and twigs.
He knows we will wander off
To inspect the tombs of others,
To see how they have dealt with grief.
He knows our eyes will rise up
To the ancient pine overhead,
And that we must say something.

Where he is now is another dimension,
Defined by a set of points,
Consistent and elegant,
Yet beyond the grasp of our minds,
Which took shape
Where the thinning forest met the savannah,
In a drying Africa.

April 25th, 2007

 

Petals Blowing Above The Altar

Petals blowing above the altar
Petals fallen from apple trees,
Their scent lost in fumes of frankincense,
Above, the leaves stir not,
And birds tuck head under wing in daylight,
A sphere of stillness descends:
My son visits his temple.
Entering I appear in deep slumber,
Stepping out I remember little:
My son and I on swans’ backs gliding over cold water,
I remember words: castle, pennant, sea edge,
I remember joy at the smoothness of his face,
I remember my son saying:
Learning is sailing on a crystal ship…
Outside now, I feel joy
But also the call of the mystery.

May 10th, 2007

 

Our Birdsong Is The Voice Of The Cypress

Our birdsong is the voice of the cypress,
We translate the thoughts of the dark grove,
We make it ring from sunrise to sunset
As we sing unseen in the deepest shadows.

Far below in the ruined courtyard of the temple,
The Roman emperor’s tomb, long since looted:
?tomb
The only visitor the half-wit who places with such gentleness
A single daisy on each sarcophagus,

As if he knew personally these vanished men of wealth
And had lain on their couches at banquets,
Served wine by slaves under tall lamps,
Had gossiped about the king’s brother and discussed free will.

They say we shearwaters are the souls of the damned,
Forever deprived of rest as, possessed,
We fly in flocks just above the Bosphorus,
swallows
But we are messengers from the Underworld,
And when we in flight dip our beaks in the sea
We taste the salty sorrow of the Styx,
And when our wings are dark on the downbeat,
A woman marries a sot who beats her and her children,
A man forgets his family and goes off to war or to sea,
And on the upbeat our wings are light,
Like the silver of olive leaves in the wind,
And a sculptor carves the woman we ache for,
A man rises before dawn to bake the town’s bread,
And a mother praises her small daughter’s embroidery.

The seagulls are caught in a sleepless gyre over Saint Sophia,
Circling and screeching in sunshine or in dusk ended by sunrise,
Whirling like dervishes, dropping one by one in exhaustion.
And so it is that here on the streets of Sultanahmet and Beyo?lu
The old man ends the gyre born in the young man’s fancy,
And before him the Golden Horn and the Galata Bridge with its ranks of long fishing poles,
The steep cobbled streets of Pera and the old red trams rattling toward Taksim
Are not real, for where is the army of men doubled over with towering loads,
?
And the tea vendors ducking to cleanse the glasses with hot water?
Where the yal? blackened with age lining the Bosphorus shores,
And the shops selling monogrammed cigarettes?
Where the elegant ladies and gentlemen alighting from the Orient Express?

The doves, too, speak like those of old, hovering with tongues of flame.
Cooing in dove cotes men have bored into the soft cliffs
And painted the opening with sun rays, setting hives on lower ledges.
We remember perching atop the stone ram’s horns and acanthus
?doves
And smelling the blood and smoke and hearing the priests’ hymns at the altar,
We watched the animals being watered at the sacred well
And their owners jostling for a better place in the line.
Later came the plain churches named for martyrs
And their simple altars with the basket of bread and the cup of wine.
And now too they are gone, but the imam’s call is faint in our canyon.

In late afternoon, in the full heat, the air burgeons with insects,
And the swallows, looping within loops, feast on the air.
Nearby a woman with a basket throws aloft wheat
And for a moment between her and the sun grains and chaff float
As they have since Hittite was spoken here,
Then the wind carries off the chaff toward a distant mountain.
At midday she and her husband and the laborers
Sit cross-legged on a blanket in a circle,
Gazing quietly into each other’s creased faces,
While swallows race to a stand of poplars,
Where, clinging to twigs, the chicks cry their begging call.

?poplars

June 18th, 2007

 

He Lives In A Room Bare As A Monk's Cell

He lives in a room bare as a monk’s cell,
A straight-back chair, table, lamp,
Rows of books everywhere.
On the table is a small round cup
And his fingers feel the raised pattern.
It has cooled but is still hot.
The tea is named for a well in Fujian,
Its water pure and tasting slightly of shale.
The color is pale red,
The color of women singing at dawn
As they strip the leaves from the bushes
And toss them over their shoulders into sacks.
Children run laughing along the terraces
And a dog runs with them, barking.
The vapor climbs the chill air of the room
As he raises the cup to his lips.
The smell takes him back to a dark dank place,
Under the front porch
Where he played as a small boy.
The taste is bitter and smoky
And would go well with roast duck.
Gently, slowly he places the cup on the table,
And some power from deep in the earth
Travels through his feet, up his legs and spine,
Down his arm to the tea cup,
Down the table leg, back into the earth.
He is immovable and solid,
He is the Buddha carved into the rock face at Le Shan,
And at his feet three rivers converge
And flow as one
On their long journey to the sea.

June 30th, 2007

I Kiss The Small Golden Heart On The Old Necklace

I Kiss The Small Golden Heart On The Old Necklace
I kiss the small golden heart on the old necklace,
But I am really kissing my son,
Abducted and hidden in the medieval alleys
Of the overcrowded city.

I must listen for a cry
Above the surf rolling up the slope of the beach,
The sound of that vast sea
Whose waters bring no lushness to the desert;
For a cry above the flute-like sound of the moon
Gliding stately across the Egyptian night;
For a cry from that packed quarter
Where every denizen is a fugitive.

His wrists I could circle with thumb and index finger
But now he must be a young man, strong and tall,
Nursing in secret his memory of me,
The scent he will follow one day
When he breaks away from his captor.

His mind is a well in an oasis, poisoned,
And when thoughts of me come to drink
They die on the banks.
But even poison is drawn skyward by the sun
And below is the memory of me singing to him,
Of wiping his brow after a nightmare,
Of us rolling dough and sprinkling sesame seeds.

When I hear his cry from the edge of the old quarter,
I will race with a black stallion in tow,
With a warm cloak and water blessed by the Copt,
And sweets of ground cinnamon and dripping with honey.
First he will hear the thunder of hooves,
See the hooded silhouette,
See the ibis stamped on the silver buckle,
And he will swing into the saddle without a word,
But will moan as his hand reaches to touch mine.

July 2nd, 2007

I Hold My Arms In An Arc Before Me

I hold my arms in an arc before me,
And they are the seawalls of Valletta,
Where the waves thunder against me,
But next to my bosom is the still harbor,
And the ships at anchor ride the gentle swell.

My children are in four ships,
Their sails billowing and their prows delving,
And from afar I see the Maltese crosses on their blue sails.
They are making for the gap between my fists,
My fists drilled into rock
At the mouth of the harbor,
Right where rough water is tamed.

On the first ship my daughter puts her instruments in order,
And mixes herbs on white sheets of paper,
Then folds them into envelopes.
She writes “For fever” and “For congestion”.
Her husband-to-be I love especially,
For though young he has held back the battering sea,
The tug of the undertow is in our eyes.

On another ship, already reefing its jib,
Is her twin sister,
Counting the sick and drawing up plans for hospitals,
For wounded knights and coughing urchins.

Behind follows a third ship,
The sun balanced on its mast,
My son counting treasure for the king,
So that he may fill his granaries for lean years.

On the fourth ship my second son,
Returning safe from pirates and corsairs,
Has gathered Greek books on philosophy.
His dreams for a better world flow from his quill
And the young men wait for him in the lecture hall.

My walls encircle my children’s ships
And they dock at my bosom in calm water.
Lichen speckles my stone blocks,
And the sea undermines my foundations,
But my children are in port,
Dancing at their wedding feasts,
And I rejoice at the way the sun mottles the tables,
How it gleams in my daughters’ raven hair,
How it glows on my sons’ olive skin,
How grooms kiss their brides,
And I await grandchildren
As I hold back the sea.

July 10th, 2007

 

I Must Press Myself Against The Embankment

I must press myself against the embankment
To let the horsemen pass,
And in the lead are the cavalry singers,
Each one a beautiful youth,
And none more beautiful than my son,
His red curls luminous in the late afternoon sun,
Floating like feathers of a tanager,
Above gold braid and a scarlet tunic
Tight at the throat,
And their strong voices somewhere between
Seraphic and terrifying.
And my heart sees golden stalks of corn
Waving in the August heat awaiting
The swoosh and flash of the mowers’ scythes.

My other son stands tall and muscular
Against the violet dusk,
Stands poling his punt
Gliding in a long row of punts
In a graceful arc curving
Toward the cape of an island.
They lean forward, together as in a ballet,
And light their lanterns,
Which one by one wink out behind the headland.
My son is a line drawn by a master
On the last rays of purple and scarlet.
A glow wavers above the windward side of the island,
And on the breeze comes chanting
And the smell of burnt offerings.

Mothers huddle on the shore and gaze across the channel.
We wonder for whom are the hymns,
For what spirits and powers the slaughtered animals,
And for what destination might they set off,
Or if they return at dawn,
What can we read in their sunburnt faces, in their black eyes and black curls?

July 25th, 2007

Is God’s Flesh Pierced

Is God’s flesh pierced
By the crown of thorns
As he cradles his son’s head
On his lap?
Do his hands burn with grief
As he helps wash his son’s body?

God awakens and around Him
Are endless wheatfields and endless steppe.
He says, Life smells of honey and venom −
I am the honey, I am the venom.
I watch as I sweeten the earth with a son,
Watch as I sting him in his prime,
Watch him dry up and shrivel,
Watch his mother shrivel,
Watch her husband squeeze her heart
To pump blood,
Watch him blow into her lungs,
As mirth flees forever from their lives.

I grow pale at the constant wailing
From every corner of the world
And it puts me to flight over great deserts
And over great oceans,
But even at the poles my ears ring
With the wail of humanity.

I am the honey and the venom
And for all the dawns that will ever be
My honey will sweeten
And my venom poison
The buzzing nations of the earth.

July 29th, 2007

 

Petya’s Head Is Still

Petya’s head is still,
As if tenderly leaning
On the snow’s shoulder,
But his limbs twitching,
Killed in battle at sixteen.
It hardly seems fair that
We old men bury him.
Or Gaudier shot in the head in 1915,
That handsome young man,
And buried with him was all
The hieratic sculpture
He would have ever made.
All around the world,
In every clime and altitude,
Are unnumbered rooms
Left intact
By parents who
Cannot bear to make
A single change
To that sacred space,
When the clock stopped
And the silence began.

It is snowing and other children
Are catching snowflakes
On extended tongues,
As if at communion,
And inside, a dog circles
Nose to tail
Almost as a ritual,
Then settles on his blanket.
The young present flowers
To an old man
And sing on his name-day,
And the old man realizes
That once sung
The song has vanished for good.

In the right season
Men plant saplings
In endless rows,
Not for fruit but for beauty,
And the trees love
The fresh earth
Black and moist.

August 15th, 2007

 

We Are Not Doing Well Without God

We are not doing well without God,
But there is no passing the angels
With flaming swords at the gates,
And a fish flitting by
Knocks from Gilgamesh’s hand
The Pearl of Immortality,
And as it sinks into the depths
He must swim to the surface
And gulp air into his burning lungs.

The eagle with his hooked beak
Has torn asunder our mother, the hare,
And we tumble from her womb,
Blind and shivering.
Though tiny and weak
We make the armies quake,
The men from Lacedemon of many ravines,
From Messe abounding in doves,
From Ithaca and mount Neriton
With its quivering leaves,
And Agamemnon with wide eyes
Remembers Iphigenia
Spurting blood
On the altar stone
At Aulis.

From the west clouds roll in,
Like rusted smoke,
Against a maroon earth,
And ox-blood pillars,
Glowing and throbbing,
Hold up the lintel,
Which is our lost son,
And below is the portal,
Beckoning, blacker than black,
Inviting, almost promising
That we will speak with our son
And hold him until he cries out:
What year is this?
And listen: the music,
My composition, he says,
But we hear light being
Refracted in crystal
And he talks of a moon
Synchronized with Jupiter
That appears once in a century
For a single day
Then is occulted
But on that day
It rains diamonds,
And meanwhile we wait
Before the portal,
Wait and weep.

August 23rd, 2007

 

Only The Hull Holds BackThe Sea

Only the hull holds back the sea,
Only an eggshell between us
And the rolling fathoms freezing and sunless,
The depths dotted with lantern fish
And the monstrous squid with their secrets.
The tempest heaves us onto wave crests,
Where poised we fill with dread,
Then fall, our innards in our throat,
Only to pitch with faces touching the sea,
Yawing and heeling and slamming,
Seasick and retching,
Turning ourselves inside out,
Vomiting bile, vomiting nothing.

But the storm moves on,
Taking its misery to ships and houses,
And we sail as if gliding on ice,
The sun at the right distance
And the winds cuddling in the curving sheets.
At the estuary we wear upstream,
Far inland past towns and forests.
Just as we haul the jib and mainsail
And drift toward the shore,
Your father raises his eyebrows and lowers his baton,
And the choir sings so that
Even the hovering angels smile
And their raiment of precious stones is outshone.
I leave you in your father’s arms,
Your aunt and uncle waiting their turn,
Leave you where it all began,
In the town on the great river,
While on its tributary our old friend blesses the waters
And those waters flow days later
Past you and your father,
Carrying more than memory,
Carrying the dissolution and mixing
Of three lives,
But more than this,
The taste of shale,
The scent of seabirds’ nests on a cliff,
The sound of icebergs calving,
The color,
The color…

I set sail for I have an ocean
And one blue sea to cross,
And my fate is to join another river,
A torrent from a glacier,
But it is no matter, for we will meet,
All of us,
And mingle,
One drop at a time.

September 1st, 2007

 

There Is Such Sadness In The Trout

There is such sadness in the trout,
The fisherman must dislodge the hook
And gently lower the fish into the water.
He watches as it shoots in a trail of bubbles
Back to its world of sunken cypress roots.

We are sad, too, for some prehistoric force
Crushes our molars down on the slaughtered calf,
On the fowl that barely knew sun
Or the joy of crowing and strutting
Or of brooding over young life.

The Ainu apologize to the bear
And invite him to his own feast,
Just as a bear,
With a part of her mind looking on
In horror,
Devours a hunter.
The bear tearing the man apart
In front of her cubs
Knows the man has cubs, too.

Young men on both sides
Rush to enlist in vast armies,
But once they have another young man
In their sights,
And squeeze the trigger,
The marksmen’s youth has fled,
And with thus conferred manhood
Comes the knowledge in the apple:
To salute a fallen enemy
And curse every weapon.

Men put this sadness
In a vault at the base of the abyss
And roll a stone across the entrance.
It’s their way,
And haunted, they are alone
When they make love to their wives
And play with their children,
But most of all when they
Look into their sons’ eyes.

September 7th, 2007

 

Even As A Child

Even as a child
Life was hot to the touch,
And I had to step back,
To save myself.

Much later I longed for
A brilliant wife,
And she appeared by my side.
She gave me a daughter,
Sweet and beautiful,
My very own star,
And a son who opened
The TV and the toaster
To see what made them tick.

Play was my firewall,
But not all the ladies and their tokens,
Not all the knights and jousts
Of Europe
Could keep the fire away
Forever and ever.

Drink cooled the fire.
I drank underground
While my family slept
Two storeys above me.

But the world has not enough drink
To slake the fire closing in on me,
Not even a pure lake in the wilderness
Could quench the fire.

There was no use stocking provisions,
So when a fair wind blew from the land,
I cast off and hoisted sail
And glided across the harbor
To the open sea.

At first I could see my family
Waving, and their tears,
But they grew small on the wharf
And their shouts died on the wind.

September 22nd, 2007

 

For Klaus

Far from even the scent of land,
Beyond, utterly beyond,
When the late day sun turns
The undulating sea into a lake of gold,
I feel the heaving sea
Evaporating,
And the atoms of my weathered hide
Rise like embers into the clouds
And I fall as rain on umbrellas
In Santiago,
And I impede the salmon struggling upstream
And they knock me back into the sky.
And I fall upon my lover
And she washes her hair with me,
That hair like a field of lavender
Split by a silver river,
And I roll back into the sea
And collect as dew on my sails,
And in the mist I am reassembled,
But not exactly as before,
I am changed,
Less human and wilder,
Apart, silent,
Roving beyond the walls,
Beyond…

October 25th, 2007

 

Once I Was No LargerThan My Fist

Once I was no larger than my fist,
When I lived inside my mother.
I was her second beating heart.
And now she is gone,
Not to be seen knitting or dozing,
Her favorite sweater hanging in her closet,
The smell of her clothes slowly dissipating
Into the ocean of air,
Each molecule farther and farther apart.
Her reading glasses lie folded atop some magazines
And her apron with its long strings
Is folded over a kitchen chair.

Outside, in every direction,
The bleakness of wasteland and cold hard concrete,
Metal and glass whizzing by like rifle shots,
But above a bridge a dense flock of birds
Massing for migration:
Swarming inward they blacken the sky,
Dispersing they lighten the horizon,
Beating like a celestial heart.

November 7th, 2007

 

I And My Friend Whom I Loved And Is Gone

I and my friend whom I loved and is gone
Sit side by side at the concert,
Listening to a young man interpret Mozart,
And we think of Mozart’s face:
A wheat field in August,
A golden sea across which pass
Dark waves sinuous like shadows,
The shadows of crows circling,
Heading for shelter in the trees,
Knowing a storm is near.

Before me is crimson and maroon,
Oxblood and ochre, all swirling,
Like the Red Spot on Jupiter,
And midway a line of pure white,
Narrow and straight as if painted,
And beyond it is my friend,
Whom I loved and is gone:
Is it the light the dying see,
Or the first inkling of Heaven,
Or dawn on a world with two suns,
Or a line of pure light
Ever receding as I approach it?

November 24th, 2007

 

I Was A Fool To Think I Belonged

I

I was a fool to think I belonged,
I the wandering tinker,
At the moment of mending appreciated,
But the thing mended, forgotten.
Death awaits at the wayside,
Between villages,
The poems in my pockets
Like unaddressed letters.

II

But the chemist who invented poison gas
Wears a tuxedo at the celebratory banquet,
Perfumed with armagnac and Havana.
His conscience took on the form of his wife,
And she walked into the garden,
And in the light from the French windows,
Shot herself.
That was a fine death,
And when they looked at her in her evening gown
A few saw the contorted soldiers
In their trenches at Ypres.

III

I see the geese lining the frozen shore,
A few floating in the black water,
More on the ice shelf,
Yet more on the snowy bank,
All with a dusting of white crystals
On their russet backs.
The geese formerly flew honking across the tenth-month moon,
And we drank strong liquor and wrote poems of sadness.
But now they persist in the snow
As if the earth had changed its orbit.

December 22nd, 2007
Even if we have been drinking blood
From our enemy’s cranium
Inlaid with a silver torque,
Once the snow starts to tumble from the sky,
As if a galaxy were pouring its stars,
We and the panther
Are clothed in white raiment
By angels at the gates of Heaven,
Who embrace us like sublime souls
Just disembarking from Purgatory off our crystal boat,
Where our mayhem and folly evaporated
Up the flues of fiery, fiery furnaces.
Diamonds drop on our hair and lashes,
And the forest and fields are hushed and peaceful.

Watching from the last car of the train,
We see at first a sky of towers
And cut between them, defiles,
Through which flow in one direction
Red lights receding and in the other,
White lights approaching.
We thread our way through a delta of tracks,
Gather speed past cafés noisy
With Bohemians all talking at once,
Past plays unfolding before weeping audiences,
Past ballets whose wordless grace touches our hearts,
Past the libraries with their millions of lifetimes
And millions of facts marching in lines past scholars’ eyes,
Past the jazzman in a trance over his keyboard,
Softly groaning in blue curling smoke and the smell of whiskey,
Till we fly past suburbs with spacious yards
And shopping malls awash with toy cars of every color,
And then from the deepening night the great city is
A ghostly glow twinkling at the seaboard,
Manmade and diminishing,
As we hurtle into a void,
Vast and cold and dwarfing,
Like the ink between the stars.

December 28th, 2007

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