Yeats is a very hard act to follow, forgive me. Here's some more alchemy (Grassblade Light). Sort of addresses my grandfather, my uncle, myself, at the same time. An elegy for my uncle (Juliet's father) really started the flow of Stubborn Grew. My grandfather built grain elevators & dockyards in the midwest & Saskatchewan. "Balthasar" has to do with a painting by Bruegel ("Adoration of the Magi"), which popped up early in Stubborn.


There is nothing but cold and dark,
as at the bottom of the sea.
As winter in Saskatchewan would be,
eventually. And so castles made of sand... sink,

now, into this infinite sea, handsome
sailor boy-o... drift, now,
drift... with Minnesota snow...
flow... let go the oars,

drop from the transom, the huge
flat outline of your grain elevators
now, old man... old man. Sow
the wild grave prairie with your centrifuge,

separate the waters from the waters,
night from day; and from the regal span
of life’s love-surge, constrain one
standing sound... your daughter’s

laughter, once again. Once more.
Now droning cicadas in July
exhale one body – sigh
toward the vault... soar

together, merge – a water music, as
your mother’s father’s sun moves down the Thames,
an evening lightship, borne upon the flames
of flowing water. Balthasar prepares

his final epiphane: out from his naval green-
gold golem draws a ruddy gem. His glittering
eyes reflect each burning facet floating in
his hand as he presents one gleaming human soul.


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