Sunday, December 01, 2013


Even combined with two pairs of socks, my old canvas shoes were not keeping out the cold. In the shadows, ice crunched underfoot although serious ice is a few weeks off yet. The community garden was deserted. Many of the plots had been made neat and tidy for the coming winter, others were overgrown with late cultivars and their companion weeds, all snaking though and over the makeshift board-and-wire walls between the beds.

It is the threshold of Advent. The night air is cold, and upon it sounds carry crisp and clear. Oak leaves will hiss and rattle even through the snowiest months --

-- but the call that I hear is from the both the most distant and the most intimate place.

It is, after all, a question of vocabulary. Eardrum, retina, the deeply occulted and precision-mapped  sulci and gyri -- breakfast, oxygen, actin, myosin -- and something out there vocabularied into being by a being sharing Being with beings --

Is there no end to the chambers in this nautilus ?

It is a vortex, a black hole, a gyre. We, know it or not, are spinning together from the wide mouth to the infinitesimal, punctate strait, toward the word

vanish. As in vanishing point.

Maybe it's all one long vanishing act, most of which is disguised as the opposite. Look at me ! Look at me now ! Look at me again, again, again !

The slowly freezing garden makes that point. 

Dissemination stops, the compost gutters.

 Cloth grows threadbare, and, as an old friend said,

unweaves -- rhyming with goldengrove's late stunt.

Where sap ran in the branch, there now runs air.

What once was reach becomes rigor mortis.

The iambs stutter -- anapest, asystole --

And, in our lamplit windows, we cry -- wait, wait !

The outstretched wings of the depicted hen

respond --  come here, come quickly under here --

where the close stench of feathers and the throb

of a tiny stop-time heart say   do not fear --

Hard words. The ground still freezes around its dead.

Bootsole mud's a phony antiphon.

The bleak chorus is standing, cold and mute,

behind my last soliloquoy -- your last ? --

of this act, anyway. Listen:  I could

live in a world of entr'acte, between

the bangs and whimpers, fiats and final cries --

But he always shows, the man with the megaphone,

summoning back to stage every last one

from leading man to extra -- boardstruck, all --

to heart-known lines, and then our curtain call.


Perilous Joy said...

The absolute best, you are.

Forsythia said...

i echo Perilous Joy.

Dave Bonta said...

Stunning words and photos.