Sunday, March 01, 2009

Poem: Within the Heart of Each of Us

WITHIN THE HEART OF EACH OF US
THERE DWELLS A PRIVATE GRIEF

My father is a lonely man,
He has one good, bright eye,
A lame foot, a crooked hand,
And a heart twisted and wry.

He came from the east,
From the mountainous rim
Of this green valley, the last
He'll see before his eye dims.

He broke his oaken staff
On the back of a red-eyed wolf
That then lay stark and stiff.
His good, bright knife
He left in the heart
Of another beast's life.

His body broken and worn,
Of his weapons bereft,
My father waits for the lion
That will ransom his death.

[1978; publ. in Northern Ontario Anthology, Cobalt, Ontario]

Poem: The Sea Son's Eyes Are Blue and Green

THE SEA SON'S EYES ARE BLUE AND GREEN
GOLDEN FISHES SWIM THEREIN
A poem for many voices

stars shape faces in his head, burst
coalesce and grow like trees
an old man's face
looms in the branches
see, see his hair
entangled in the boughs
see, see his hair
entangled in the branches of anemones

stars burst on the rocking water

I am scattered over the water
my fragments are scattered over the water
my face is entangled in the pattern the waves make
I am reborn in every motion of the water

stars burst in the rocking water

he gathers them into his head
they glitter
in the darkness
they blaze like the sun
that shattered on the water and became stars
bursting in the sea son's head, in silence
that touched the inside of his face
and grew like a tree

In that other place where these things happened
I sat me down by the waters of language and wept,
For behold, I had no face, my name was taken from me
And given to the wind.

[1973; publ. in 39 Below, Edmonton]