The Partial Explanation
Seems like a long time
Since the waiter took my order.
Grimy little luncheonette,
The snow falling outside.
Seems like it has grown darker
Since I last heard the kitchen door
Behind my back
Since I last noticed
Anyone pass on the street.
A glass of ice-water
Keeps me company
At this table I chose myself
And a longing,
On the conversation
Clinging to the shark
is a sucker shark,
attached to which
and feeding off its crumbs
is one still tinier,
inch or two,
and on top of that one,
one the size of a nick of gauze;
smaller and smaller
(moron, idiot, imbecile, nincompoop)
until on top of that
is the last, a microdot sucker shark,
a filament’s tip – with a heartbeat – sliced off,
and the great sea
all around feeding
his host and thus him.
He’s too small
to be eaten himself
(though some things swim
with open mouths) so
he just rides along in the blue current,
the invisible point of the pyramid,
the top beneath all else.
**Today's very short poem reminds us
there are two ways of looking at things.
Note: This is such a short poem,
it should be read twice.
Near a shrine in Japan he'd swept the
and then placed camellia blossoms there.
Or -- we had no way of knowing -- he'd
the path between fallen camellias.
** This poem creates a mysterious atmosphere.
Rain is falling through the roof.
And all that prospered under the sun,
the books that opened in the morning
and closed at night, and all day
turned their pages to the light;
the sketches of boats and strong forearms
and clever faces, and of fields
and barns, and of a bowl of eggs,
and lying across the piano
the silver stick of a flute; everything
invented and imagined,
everything whispered and sung,
all silenced by cold rain.
The sky is the color of gravestones.
The rain tastes like salt, and rises
in the streets like a ruinous tide.
We spoke of millions, of billions of years.
We talked and talked.
Then a drop of rain fell
into the sound hole of the guitar, another
onto the unmade bed. And after us,
the rain will cease or it will go on falling,
even upon itself.
Before She Died
When I look at the sky now, I look at it for you.
As if with enough attention, I could
take it in for you.
With all the leaves gone almost from
the trees, I did not walk briskly through
Late today with my dog Wool, I lay down in the
upper field, he panting and aged, me looking at
the blue. Leaning on him, I wondered how finite
these lustered days seem to you, A stand of
hemlock across the lake catches my eye. It will take
a long time to know how it is for you. Like a dog's
lifetime -- long -- multiplied by sevens.