Lanthanum, 7/4

Here's something from the 2nd volume of Lanthanum (drawing toward the center of the poem, now...). I'm only posting this because I can't imagine any magazine wanting to publish this very obscure passage... (p.s. "soul liberty" was a phrase Roger Williams used to characterize his notion of freedom of conscience. & the bit about "Cyrus" draws on Sir Thomas Browne's wonderful & justly famous numerological-botanical essay titled "The Garden of Cyrus". & "perfect rune"? Well, in a sense this refers to the number 28, the number of lines in this poem, which is a "perfect number", & has long been associated with the lunar calendar).


Quiet, all quiet... the
boom of last night's fireworks giving way
to sunny Sunday, 7/4. Soul liberty,
he said - only a single secret path through the

labyrinth. Its perfect rune, rhyming
with lofty, solitary moon (not white
not black, but dappled by limestone light
that shines before stars start wandering)...

one seven added to those fifty stars
that shimmer in the haze of history -
for sabbath-day, for Jubilee - really
one red & cardinal number (yours)

for wedding memory & justice (everywhere).
Cyrus planted a garden once, to celebrate
Earth's intricate flourishing (a quince quintet);
the center of the world, enclos├Ęd there,

was calm (slight violet eye, beholding
hurricane). It was his grandmother, calling;
it was his grandfather, responsive, echoing;
before Cyrus was born, before Time began -

a wedding-song, a dream, a constancy.
An octave note, for makings of one family
from reconciling tribes, & tyrants finally
dethroned - bell-booming independency

on earth, as it is... in Cyrus's garden;
when the milky light at last reigns equally,
& fifty stars are seven sisters (really
one star, one limestone pentagon...). & then...


1 comment:

Kevin Faulkner said...

But Browne does mock his very own mystical numerology as 'inexcusable Pythagorism' in Garden of Cyrus. A sure sign of genius, the ability to gently mock oneself. It is an extraordinary prose, pure alchemical imagination in full flight in hermetic delights.