at the local cinema


I met the surviving Saarinen,
Eric (from California)
at the local cinema,
showing his film about those Finns –

Eero, Eliel – who competed
to complete a monument
at navel of a continent.
Congratulations E. Saarinen, stated

the telegram.  Nobody knew
which one had won...
uniting father & son
in gratifying mystery.  Eric, too –

the latecomer, the odd man out.
Hurt psyche of a boy
forsaken for his father’s toy,
dream, rest.  Took roundabout

lifetime to ravel up & down
that furious steel arc.
Papa went into the dark
before the triumph of its dawn

upsoaring vault over St. Louis;
yet the late film follows the
mammal-forms – waves, hollows –
Eero spread across that Fifties

U.S. gridscape, breathing curves
& ribs so delicately
bearing gravity
they lift the heart out of its grooves


toward self-transcending levity –
high tensile alcoves
where swirly flocks of doves
shape octave-looping solidarity –

a wider vista of the whole
concordant cosmic good –
a brother & sisterhood
of green, rose red & lilac soul.

Her intricate diamond quipu knot
rays out in six directions.
An acorn salience,
an Oklahoma holm-oak plot.

An atom from a honey-bole.
A seed rooted in sky.
(Suzuki harmony
sounds deep Hiroshima bell-toll.)

Wayfaring Eric, leftover grandson
remembers his abandoned
mother, at the end
of the reel.  Displaced... the unknown

child.  Sculptor of turtleshell
glide-shelters... curling
strands of hair, unfurling
chords of clay (who softly swells

a lightweight matrix).  Tender tower
of color, glowing through
the fading film of you
& me... green mound, light-freckled bower.


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