Saturday, May 24, 2014

Untended Garden (Inspired by Neruda)

Inspired by the last stanza of the poem "If You Forget Me" by Pablo Neruda

Wildflowers have no expectations beyond the soil,
make no churlish demands for more - 
light comes to caress them and they slowly rise, 
these small, significant things 
completely content to whisper fragrance 
beneath the breadth of sky with tales of mountains 
they once knew and never forgot.

The clarity of love understands the gift 
of a single flower in an otherwise barren field.
Elaborate packaging is not required 
to declare it as precious, to claim it as pure.

Once, love arrived on a silver stallion,
but only in dreams. Upon awakening,
we smelled dew upon the grass and knew
what was most important. We did not need 
fables and fairy tales to tell us what mattered most,
what we should seek when the sun ascended. 

A single seed is the beginning of infinity;
it is planted where roots will form unseen.
Emerald grass parts slightly to make room
for beauty coming from far below,
a glistening companion at dawn. 

A moment is a memory is a lifetime.

Once the soul is touched, the imprint remains, 
a still-warm ember that does not burn.

Many Rivers (for Sylvia Plath)

Many rivers gather within my eyes,
their tidal songs flow too far from shore,
their silt and shells too distant from the sea.

Waves echo, pounding through blood's own reckoning, 
immense heartbeats not quite forgotten,
infinite moments immeasurable and fathomless.

Each grain of sand, an undiscovered nation,
its inhabitants unknowing and unknown.

The warp and weft of untold weeping
becomes a keening too wild to contain
within a single frame of flesh, 

first shaken, then shattered, 
crystal prisms pearled, bereft of kaleidoscopes
from which we might view the fog-shrouded horizon
we strive so hard to reach before dusk descends,

leaving us torn, adrift without a sextant in shadowed waters, 
without a star-struck sky to guide us into port.