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Page 20


Poems about love and death are listed on the index of poems

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poetry about death
The deception began thus:
Endless floating days
On a river of light,
Without beginning
Without end,
Slow dance of
The moon and stars
A voyage of innocence:
Time's eternal trance--

But now:
Carousel madness
Quickening whirl
Of shrinking sky
A smudge of green
A smudge of white
Spring to winter
A centrifugal blur
Labored heartbeat
Knuckles blanched
Barely holding
On as the wind
Of time lashes
The thinning skin;

The laws of nature
Are immutable and
In this cyclotron,
Physics is my god--

And yet
In dark and hidden
Recesses it starts:
Proud reason giving
The diffident soul
Unfolds and swells:

Will there be
A redeeming release
When this symphony
Of atoms is hurled
Against the plate?

Or only
Unrepentant black?

poems of hope
Never, not for a single day, do we have
before us that pure space into which flowers
endlessly open.
—Rainer Maria Rilke

How like a rubber band
Desire keeps pulling you
From yourself.
Among your land deeds
Tax records,
And birth certificates,
Death is
Stuffed somewhere deep
Inside your vault.
In a dusty, dark corner
In the back of the shed
In a dust-covered jar.

When the apple and pear
Ripen and fall,
Dread must be varnished
With urgent appointments
And weekly prayers,
The pistil and the stamen,
The dung beetle
Barely mentioned anymore,
Your waxed eyes hungering
Only for consolation
Beyond the darkened ridge,
And yet,
Even in the early morning
With your windows closed
Some disembodied twitter
A jagged hole
In your sleep.

But then you remembered
That day you travelled
Far into the hills,
And your eyes widened
When the light-footed
Flirted with gravity
On the sheer juts of rock
In their ravaged world,
And vaguely it came back
That we, yes, we alone
Had given up our place,
Our foothold.

A hornet grazed your face--
It almost
Vibrated in your blood--
You bent more closely:
The small damp fingers
Of fern and moss,
The traceless movement
Of trout,
Wetness coming alive,
An endless beginning
With every thing balanced
In its center--
Nothing ever falls out.

In the clamour of living,
Shielded by stained glass
Protected by cement,
The invisible has no face.
We spill out
Like a pot boiling over,
We slip backward,
Spin ahead of ourselves,
Strike our hammer
Against the anvil,
Deforming Time
Into something it's not,
Until we're finally
Until life's been shaped
Into a shadow of itself.

How rare
The moments of dreadful
When we briefly wear
Our neglected, ancient senses,
When we look not upward
But down
Into life's grave eyes,
Where death's heavenly
Adorn the spider's web,
Feeling again the sway
Of a single world,
The tango of wild atoms--
The wilderness of time.


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