Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Red Hill At Sunset \ Dancing To John Cage

Alan:  I was raised to call my father by his first name, which seems strange only now.  He loved our summer place on Squam Lake and its view of Red Hill, with its reddish granite that glowed intensely in the setting sun.  I wrote this poem for Doug’s 80th birthday, the last summer he was able to make it up to the lake.

Red Hill At Sunset

Towards evening the August heat and haze
opens it’s single eye to supple light

Descending, mantra-like, to still each day’s
ordered pleasures.  The dark rocks re-ignite
under their gnarled roots.  So, mirrored there,
glowing, above the cove the old hill stands,

A beacon kindled by the grace of air.
Take this bright moment in your outstretched hands

Even as it passes.  Watch the fires sink
into shadows and Time’s timeless design
gray to ash.  There is nothing mind can think,
holding this image, but to see a sign
that, though all perfect days soon fade to night,
you, whom such visions touch, still clasp the light.

Nancy:  Egrets are rare visitors to our bay.  What great good luck to have bird and tide and fish intersect with our pause at the marsh.

Dancing To John Cage

A pause.  Glissando.

A sharp spear abrupt
Silent deliberation.
Stride, half flight
wings outstretched.
Egret fishing
parsing the marsh.
Blows fall like silent kettledrums,
but fish riding the tide
swerving the shore, oblivious
hear only silence.

Foot raised.
Nothing will happen until
this note just struck
its reverberations.

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