Lanthanum 7.1

So, I've reached the numerical center of the poem Lanthanum (as planned, anyway). This is poem # 145 : it's paired with the previous poem (# 144). I hope you enjoy my labors in the dust. My first poem published in Rhode Island (in a chapbook titled "Where the Skies are not Cloudy All Day", from Hellcoal Press, 1971) was titled "For March 28 Nineteen 71 (after reading Apollinaire)".


The day after Pearl Harbor Day, I glance
at an old poster on the wall. Tran-Van-Tay;
Galerie Amyot, 20 rue Saint-Louis-
en l’Isle
. 1992. Four pomegranates

on white linen, intricately bordered with a line
of aquamarine; their crimson branches sketched
in echoing blue-black. Found by chance,
roving l’Île-de-France one night (on honeymoon).

To think that you were there, too, Grace ‒
in 1918, riding a Red Cross truck (Apollinaire
already gone); your paintings afloat in a corner
of the Louvre ‒ hand & eye leaving a trace

in France. Here in RI (in Cumberland,
along the riverbank) lies Blackstone’s pearl :
the one who went to live with Indians (clamshell
pilgrim-orchardist; bookish pioneer, bookended

here). A milky mote of vision, out of
a void of solitude & loss : moonlit
circumference (divine & human) set
upon this blood-veined earth. River-trove

of rose-touched clay, that signifies
universality ‒ the light of truth that
measureth Everyman; that weighteth in
the balance all our goodness, each iniquity ‒

his pearl, his ecstasy (lunar lucidity).
Night glimmers on a ruin in Bukovina
(where Tree of Jesse, patient, waits
the Day). An omnipresent quiddity ‒

the center of your soul, & mine ‒ wry
rainbow across the wheat. Monarch man-
arc, tacking to Mexico... peregrine
Pontifex Maximus, reigning (on milky way).



RC said...

Henry, I really like the flow of this poem.

Henry Gould said...

Thank you, Reyes!