Friday, August 05, 2016


[for Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Andrei Tarkovsky,
Shoshtakovich, and the poets of the Silver Age]

removing the sky, they gave us glass
so that those who flew were continually

removing the earth

and then our shoes,
we walked on
on singular paths.

is it the air that holds us up,
we wondered;
the unseen currents

that the saints knew?
we exchanged lilies
and ate black bread

with the smidgeon of cheese
we remembered from the fairy tales,
jewellike, the pots of jam;

the murals made of sand;
the paint brush dripping from the Sun.

one teaspoon
engraved, we saved;
assorted kettles

and the diaries of unfortunate fortunates

who dreamed the one dream necessary,
useful to us still:
the fantastic ladder,

the lost green hill

with the angels ascending
and descending in
measureless silence;

with an untranslatable iridescence;
and carried our candles indoors
from ruin to ruin

where once, there were rooms.
and enameled the palettes of old skies
and summer dooms;

we the unwary
when the silver myths of forests
were shut down

observed and did not complain.
and were ourselves transposed
in the cinematic scenes,

watercoloured in long rains,

the coded symphonies.
and amidst the wild grasses
where we read our books

and wrote them too
so out of view;

painting on sidewalks
the outlines of the deceased
when they closed the schools of memory;

mouthing the words
in syllables of pure snow

mary angela douglas 5 august 2016