:: :: :: :: terrible dragon: slaying the world one poem at a time :: :: :: ::
Saturday, October 31, 2009
A treeline in memory
This New World
The light slips out of summer like it did seven years ago today as I drove through Germany from Deventer, watched my first sunset in green Deutschland trying to imagine how such beauty and horror could come from such a place—Bach and the blitz- krieg, Bergen-Belsen and Beethoven, Mahler and the mayhem that dims along a treeline in memory now, autumn dropping its yellow canisters of dying colors and this is Germany again, seven years later, here in Santa Barbara with summer in the same place four days before I met a woman who would teach my heart love, every motion taken in this new world another step toward a summer that arrives in time without me, arriving nevertheless as it should, as I watch it again depart this new world.
will not leave your name in a book left open to a sky. Will not bring shadows beneath trees closer when the sun fails. Will not turn an ocean beneath your untidable tears. Will not speak for you when the next world comes too late. Cruel this, yes, but I will not save you from a gentle truth.
Make yourself stand in rain. Let cold and wet have their way and do not seek familiar shelters. Let skin rise above porous bone; feel your hair matte against your nape. In this way you will have all anyone can promise. Keep this against times when no tongue may tell you otherwise. This is heaven.
Her letter says it will happen before month’s end. It is September and summer burns itself into autumn here in the north hemisphere of Southern California. He is getting old and the arthritis doesn’t allow riding any longer, she writes. I look up and out my window. Old horses arrive to funnel and chute in this way.
We find our place for some stabled years and someone inadvertently leaves a gate open and we tumble out. Greener pastures, fertile valleys, places where skies blaze not cloudy all day. There are cold night rides when ice and wind meet every clop and furied manes tear razors from stropped heavens. We do this in spite of such things, ride out to meet makers and breakers of days and seas and high passes that find us blackened by backlight in silhouette cutouts that run the ridge all the way across and back and back home again.
We might pass shrines devoted to safe passage, Marys and Christs boxed and nailed to treetrunks, their arms crossed in perennial prayer never saying a word as we track heavy and hooved into darkness like spent candles and superstition. How many times did I ride with you from the other side of such worlds, the two of you saddled by my breaking mornings as your twilights led time to its halter, day after day’s end? I’ve since lost count.
Yes, there are deeper grasses to ford as all old horses know this. We come clanging to the penrail for carrots and apples, a handful of sugarcube to lip into and past the steel bit we allowed for so long because it brought us into togethering. So the tack will hang limp from a bare hook in the riding house, die reiten haus, as you might say in Swiss or some language unforeign to my ear as when you made vows while trailing through the dew-veiled spider’s webs on one of many blissful mornings they lay open that way as if a thousand stars had fallen to lie that way just for you to turn rings among, to sense and gather their deeper meanings, to marry your days together against all the ones to come without us.
wisdom is worth all we lose to attain it. ~aucassin verdé
i wonder if the artist ever lives his life-—he is so busy recreating it. only as i write do i realize myself. i don't know what that does to life. ~anne sexton
you must acquire the trick of ignoring those who do not like you. in my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid and the envious. the stupid will like you in five years time. the envious, never.~john wilmot, 2nd earl of rochester
art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes. ~kahlil gibran
creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. art is knowing which ones to keep. ~scott adams
those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either. ~golda meir
i said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope
for the wrong thing.
wait without love,
for love would be love
of the wrong thing.
there is yet faith;
but the faith and the love
and the hope are all
in the waiting.
wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought.
so the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.