Lanthanum 8.23


They are always with you, ghosts in the shade
of the raven-knife – sprigs of the innocent,
personal sketches. Though death was sufficient.
They no longer suffer the human hell we made

for them (for ourselves) on earth. They
will not be transmuted by sublime Concept;
they are your brothers, sisters, & you wept
too late – the stain cannot be washed away.

Their water & wine run down into clay
glimpsed in an arc-light (everlasting form).
Their hope & sorrow are your paradigm –
their almond bark a sheepdog gate. A way.

It floats in the tattoo of an evening rain
that ripples like wind through the hair
on your arm echoes the few spare
notes of milk train waning over prairie

Where the motes gather & lost letters
raven-black on yellowed onionskin
outline of a cherished face on wooden
outside wall in VoronetÈ™ a potter’s eyes

light blue a painter’s olive-green the dove’s
grey deeps the ocean-sigh gull-cry oils,
in the mosaic mish-mash, the what-all
collage under almond ash oak-leaves’

deep shade those philosophic walls of a tree-
the wisdom-loving love of Love (that
cricket-Magdalen a summer prodigy hove-
to ancient cicada in dying dogwood) free


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