Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Radio \ September, Breathes The Meadow

Alan: Ralph Vaughan Williams’ "The Lark Ascending" seems to vibrate midway between heaven and earth, like the skylark itself in its spring display.  Hearing it now, 100 years after its composition, I can’t help but feel a melancholy pang running through the promise of renewed life.


Needy for something, punching “on,”
filling the car at random –
last slow-spooling notes of “The Lark Ascending.”

     Quiet, he stands in shadow,
     transfixed by some half-seen motion
     above the glare of stubble fields.

Follow that lone violin
arabesqueing upward to vanish
in an ache of blue.

     He turns, retraces his steps
     while the bird, invisible now,
     still rises, singing in his mind.

A leaf curlicues across the road.
“Poplar,” I think.
“Still green,” I think.

“Summer’s ending now,” I think.

Nancy: Picking up speed, the year rushes on; I feel trapped in a car on the Coney Island ferris wheel.  Stop!  Stop!  Too late.  I shoot out into space.

September, Breathes The Meadow

Visible breath of September
    gray of the neck feathers of the dove
    rose gray
    there, and there
    mist ephemeral
    made real in the seeding grass
    translucent as the leaves of the iris
    gracefully yielding up life
July's breath
the breath of August
    was often French horns
    might have been flutes
    spoke with the strength of pan pipes
    a pulse of stone
    a pulse of life
This morning
    the meadow is silent
    one elm tree standing alone
    fir, eternally green
    and yet
    a quick stop and start of the heart
    I see
    I see and I know
that the meadow is breathing September.

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