Complex of the six directions


Everywhere a vector-vortex,
a 3-dimensional crane-
liftoff.  A diagonal plane
of tracer-tracks – trains, trucks,

jet-like chariots surround this
Shriners’ hideaway, where
limping children play.
Mute manger-haven, beneath curious

folksy lunar scimitar 
insignia. Granddad’s
old Buick neighborhood.
Born on Epiphany, you are

a kindly prehistoric whisper-
star, remote but bright.
Hum beneath black-white
acrid mercury bath – Big Dipper

trench-canoe.  Grave air-casket
you portage over your head,
smiling beyond dread
fumes of one Martian marble planet...

So every local khipu-knot’s
a complex of the six
directions – Shakespeare’s
skullcap, Pushkin’s troika-stop –

your eschatology through tundra,
mangy Everyman.
Lambent beatitude, then –
shaggy speech, shepherd apocrypha.


John Ravlin, Boundary Waters Canoe Area, MN  (1940s)

Woods behind Shriner's Hospital, Minneapolis

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