Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Eclipse \ A Kind Of Immortality

Alan: Remembered scenes come back as gifts, turned in the mind until ready to be passed on.  This is from the late years of my family’s many decades of summers spent on Squam Lake, New Hampshire.

                         for Mims at 90

The day after Bob
slugged the coast
breaking trees
from Portland to the border
I drove Rte 25 –
KezarFallsPorter –
the huge moon
in a washed-clean sky
over my shoulder
like being in a folk song,
the shadows rich and suggestive,
even the broken branches of the pines
along the roadside
rich and suggestive,
until somewhere beside the river
the night darkened
bit by bit, becoming at last
only the night,
and I arrived at camp
to find Doug and Betty and Bud
sitting on the deck
talking quietly
watching a perfect round patch
of old yellowed skin
high above the cove.

We waited, content
in each other’s company,
until at last
the shadow pulled away
leaving the moon
again the moon,
pure and simple as longing,
preening in the
dancing waters

Nothing else happened.
Bud paddled home;
we all went to bed.
I have held that moon all these years
until it is smooth and rounded as beach glass,
and because 9 and 0
are such beautiful round numerals
I give it to you now:
that night
those people
this moon.

Nancy: Columbine, roses, lilac and peony: push through the thickets to the memories, the old gardens, the women who tended them.  Mary and Nancy, Sarah and Jane live on, live in the breeze.

A Kind Of Immortality

farms fail
fire takes the houses
frost takes the cellar holes

fences fall
roads fill
fields go to alders
alders to maple
maple to spruce

graves subside
families disperse
to wanderlust
gold dust
fruitless love

but here
in a kind of immortality
white columbine

from the scree of the cellar holes
from the veins of the ledge
white columbine
on a blue cloth
on a black stove

ours to hold
ours to pass on
now our immortality
when we are gone

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