Breathing with Karen, Stretching Time
ON REFUSING ALL OF THE SMOOTH STONES
IN THE RIVER’S TUMBLING JUST OUT OF TOWN
Maybe what remains is the elegy.
This odd turn towards the camera
with moving parts.
Seeing the beloved like this
in her one moment.
On the Washington side of the Columbia River
Explain that one to Meriweather Lewis.
A day drive.
Over Blewett Pass, Karen asks me
if I want to stop at St. John the Forerunner Monastery
and buy some cheese cake from the nuns.
Like Bly says in his Big Book,
Even your parents can’t believe how much you’ve changed.
When he began lifting fist-sized stones
from rivers, he couldn’t recall, exactly.
It was Sunday. He’d brought grandchildren,
and the first stone came from the glacier’s snout,
shattered glass. He collapsed the riverbed
in his garden, tracking an ancestral story.
26 November 2013
LINES FOR A SOLITARY POET
Looking for a way through a lifetime
of the poet’s translated poems,
underlining, lines as cairns
in landscapes of the other,
otherness part of what’s here,
part of what’s lonesome and untold,
part of it, too, lines accumulate
until land and sky come clear.
This is a solitary poet.
He lays down his pen, and as the poem
emerges, the poet himself gets smaller.
It’s not Robert Bly who makes a poet great.
Neither is it the Nobel Prize.
These lines are morning bird songs
from Tomas Tranströmer, his own work
pushing him from the nest.
Discipline of practice, way of solitaries
on birthdays bowing to daily lines.
Stark contrast from the awards dinner,
escapes through bathroom windows.
8 November 2013
MOVEMENT IN THE MOTHERSHIP
In the womb of the Goddess
Breathing is another word for praise
19 November 2013