Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Rip Van Winkle Sends Regrets

[to Washington Irving]

the whole world has gone by

and can he rethread the broken threads
not knowing who cut the strings of the
rainbow flossed or bobbled the bobbin-
or ever find in amber
what could not be preserved

so much has changed.

even the leaves.
even the flowers on the hillsides
look at him strangely

and who are you

the petals sigh
and why have you returned
whisper the perinneals flaming out;
nor will they crown him purple clover chain- on-chain,
King of what he no longer surveys.

it burns in the mind

that cannot calculate
what has been lost
while dreaming underground
half-drenched in the lily snows

of a faint moon in a distant sky

of the charmed who no longer live here.
of the weddings' finery held for ransom
kettle on the hob scuttled
of the flights down the canyons, precipitous and blind of
the wingless shimmering birds of time.

mary angela douglas 4 february 2014