POETRY PAGE TWO
COLUMN 101, JANUARY 1, 2004
(Copyright © 2004 The Blacklisted Journalist)
The campus trees are red and gold.
I see him walk from his math class
to his car, off to tennis,
bouncing a ball, swinging his gym bag.
I guess he knows he is beautiful.
What is that glory, but another apple of life?
More will be made next season.
The black ducks by the pond, bending
their necks like question marks,
know this, and yet do not know it.
What they hold on to is what they know.
Today, it is light so brittle you'd think
the sun would shatter if it were to move.
This is all anyone can hold of beauty,
our lashes beat back the rest.
What did my father hold?
A dilapidated house or two, some tools,
my mother's soft shoulders in the dark,
and then he was off, a hole in his heart,
falling down into questions.
The silver, wordless opening of the pond
is more like a mirror now, but the ducks
know it has another echo, an echo
that beats like the bouncing of a ball, imagine
the abundance of not wanting anything at all. ##
* * *
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF
When did it happen? The leaves on that maple tree
down the street are suddenly burgundy red.
In a few days they will blaze as magnetic as blood.
The long reach into the cage of summer loses fire.
Measured footsteps going home are counterpoint
to the hope that echoes from long spent desire.
Schubert's Piano Sonata in B major starts that way.
The melody is so breathless we wait for the next note,
as if it were to burst into smoke before it plays.
An amber glow of evening touches the world's facade.
Something yawns a prayer, then lets go its grip--
lets the leaves fall resigned into the will of God.
Listen, the birds gather together in the branches
with their frantic song, each one saying a last thing.
Like when the Messiah comes. ##
* * *
WISHFUL THINKING ON MY PART: NEW YEAR'S
December twilight outlines the high cranes
that face into the wind like sailboats at anchor.
Their hooks relax above the city's aches and pains.
Our tearing down and building up abstains awhile.
Beyond my sight, the year's last light will pass
over the quarantine of suburbia, then farmlands.
Patient in winter, broad fields of prairie grass
are washed and combed by the snow's white hands.
Gounod's opera begins with Faust singing "Rien."
Nothing. Nothing matters. Nothing comes before
nothing, and nothing slows the move of years
into an appointed digit of days: 2003, 2004...
Imagine, a change of heart, the sloughing off of sin,
a way, not young nor innocent, but an open door
to this room where we burn with goodness again
and live beauty with beauty; of flesh, but more.
Instead, our age grinds down the age before.
Marvelous is the mill that is the world's machine.
We'd spend a second youth, just like the first.
Sky of light. River of dark. Land of in between. ##
CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMN 101
CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMNS
Blacklisted Journalist can be contacted at P.O.Box 964, Elizabeth, NJ 07208-0964
The Blacklisted Journalist's E-Mail Address:
THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST IS A SERVICE MARK OF AL ARONOWITZ