Sunday, December 01, 2013

One Day The Poets Of Earth Will Sing Again

[To- 

"the Love that moves the Sun and the other stars..."

-Dante (trans. John Ciardi, 1961)

(and for my mother, Mary Adalyn, on her Immemorial Birthday)]

one day the poets of earth will sing again

forgetting their eclipse, the early deaths, the
wilderness they knew

the taxes on the heart.  the hem of trebled Beauty scorned

and traded for stale biscuits, the anisette coffees.
the endless fevers and no cooling irised hand:
the accolades awarded to darkness
trampling to dust the psalter of the free oh and the tearless,
making no sound.
consigning iridescence to the ground.

the raven-plucked sorrow down, adown the silver branch

no longer inscribed, the surveillance of the lovely.
manuscripts deferred, forgotten, ridiculed;
and shot at dawns so unrehearsed, the quietly embroidered
age on age-
painstakingly, by the confused.

"newness" drowning them again;

cooking up whole brassy pots of Stone
Soup with shriveled parsnips for the
entire neighborhood squawking

false change, small change quenching the candles of the Sun.

fooling no one, really.
one day the star fraught messengers sent
as gleaming  doves from the Ark will live again green as First Green
green on first gold could ever be dreamed to be and then

above receding waters they will turn, mid-air

astonished, astonishingly
flawlessly to diamond fire, instead
of beating the futile air and scarred-
marveling marveling
that the hour of the smashed urn is dead
and all this rising and setting at an end
no gorgeousness, gone

and each word glorified and each page

brightening hue on hue for always now the
linen on linen the snow phrases yet
no longer melting from view on the funeral trains
crossing continents unseen- 
sped by the merchandisers clean out of the Picture
as language is bled dry. I-

no more, I whispered to the ghosts of beauty

sensing a glacial change, finding the silver buttons made fast,
the golden thread for the children's winter coats: and
unpacked from a toy suitcase, dancing by the

miniature rosegush* of first syllables, my school scissored paper snowflakes,
multifoiled gum-starred universe, for you

and say to the pale blue corner of a room and I do-

unchristened yet by Christmas:
make way, the glitter train is coming through: 

Manifest, Your rainbow in the clouds remains

leaving everything to the children, said at last:
the winged hearts fluttering the valentines unclasped are everywhere now
oh every heartbeat word on word is jeweled not as morning dew
that disappeared till no one cried for the dewdrop vanishing, "alas" 
for all flowers under the boots of those half-way
inclined to crush the lilies-
to raze the orchards in full bloom-

but it spans the reeling stars, the heart splintered years

and sun on sun as Dante said
or may have said, through prismed tears,
(or small "i" under the chandeliered heavens)
impelled by the Love that urged the horses on-

mary angela douglas 1 december 2013


P.S.I really did intend to say rosegush a made-up compound word that expresses my childhood state of mind with pinpoint accuracy, my endless enchantment with roses (even if it did start out as a typo)