in the whisper gallery


My mater’s feet, that spun the heavy
wheel of Red Wing clay
dancing with gravity
to shape a starfish gaiety

for these galactic lunch plates, pink
& blue & white... her Ravlin
hands (out of that Iowan
earth Quaker Negus trunk)

were muddy with the garden soil
of Minneapolis-
St. Paul... O this
most plain midwestern gopher hole!

The soul stages a circus act
of spacy time, perchance –
her gyroscopic balance
tops an unknown Planet X, in fact

& dream.  Mary’s crafty fingers
rhymed those blue-&-white
starbeams with one fleet
bathtub tug... her name lingers

in flame & memory (Sophie).
Like Firebird in the Russian
symphony, my swan-
boat swallowed up Eternity

consumed by cigarette-smoke blaze
in Petersburg poet’s
birdnest (Elena Shvarts) –
pipestoned into a purple haze.


I pace your clay circumference
in sleep.  My blind alley
or whisper gallery
is domed – an acorn’s happiness

or Okie’s California – inward
mother-of-pearl, bent
parallactic as a mint
wrapper... green mirror-bird

soaring from rusty copper frame
into the theatre of sky.
Your crossroad, ply on ply
flexed on sine-wave of Ever-Same

& in the dust of the Ecclesiast
of human brokenness
inherited faiblesse
& all the suffering, from East to West

one mighty spindly tree, one pine
of cloudy poetry
swirls, fiddlehead – sea?
Transmodulation of the sign,

en face!  To pivot on the least
of these... gray wing
of Jonah, mutely lifting
from the broken shells... the Beast

stung by remorse (Guillem d’Orange)
– stick figure of the Son of Man
familiar, somehow – someone
you must have met, somewhere... étrange!


No comments: