Saturday, August 18, 2007

"In A Melting Season" (Poem for Liam Rector and Tree Swenson)

I read this sad news yesterday on Greg Rappleye's blog (click on his name on the blog and scroll down to read a poem by Liam - a poet I didn't know except on the page where he was a dear friend. I wrote this today for his memory, and for Tree.


In A Melting Season

for Liam Rector and Tree Swenson


It's the last week of the melting season.
The warmest temperature ever recorded
in the North Pole occurs the day
the shot rang out, silently to the sleeping.
A woman drinks a heavy glass
of water. A man revs the engine
of a shining SUV. The sun cracks
open upon the land and pours
its fine needles of compulsion
into the skin. Poetry puzzles
a flight of birds, the alien starlings
park in the foreign trees, those that displace,
those that move the native stock on. Get off
here,
says something in the shifting
of the spheres. In the wolf's hour
a man weighs the waiting and the pain;
decides. What single line
could ever close this poem? The verses
ooze through the wound. The sky
opens up into sun. If you could
capture this day, like a disabled
duck caught in the muck of our leavings,
how many more calendar pages
would you venture through? The poems
are lost and rediscovered. The woman
coming toward you turns into a red
shadow, a strand of hair floating
down to the floor, a goddess of loss,
becoming. What is to be done
when the body is dying? Even in a child
the great thaw continues. In the last
seed of summer, before the first rays,
a story begins, and ends. The birds
keep arriving, keep reminding. What wakes
eats. What sleeps forever more
keeps a living hunger alive into winter.
How many miles to travel before a setting
is begun? How many slushing marshes now
must you cross? The creaking ice
lets the fisherman fish, lets us in
to begin again - without you.


Lorna Dee Cervantes
8/18/07

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4 Comments:

Blogger Lyle Daggett said...

Such terrible sad news. Beautiful sad lovely poem, Lorna.

18/8/07 20:03  
Blogger Sandra said...

This is a tough but very good poem. I hope Tree sees it--not now, maybe, but later.

Nice to know I'm not the only one with starlings on the brain.

27/8/07 07:34  
Anonymous Paul said...

Not a bad poem -
Words do help us with coping
And haiku does best!

5/9/07 15:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this beautiful poem. I am so lucky to have come across it. Tree Swenson is my aunt, and I will be sure she sees it, if she has not already.

29/10/09 16:05  

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