Friday, September 30, 2011

Word & Question

Leave all gardens unguarded, all woods yielding,
but put a circuit round the gutted mall:
a last surveyor, turning, in the night,
like one to watch a ship that's done with sail days,
now yarded in the weedy dark - hulled, unpraised,
waiting to be water-sealed, out of star-sight.

One witness, pert, this official vacancy
beside the zoning fence, make midnight strides,
that none may have the fun of breaking panes,
and wrest from demolitioners their first dig-in,
ruining what projected contract ruin
stands, as stood for years, now its fallow claim:

Beams to be bitten, walls to give way
to further sight; the roof no more a roof.
Rain, birds, air and light, making of the refuse-
the sudden letting of the elements,
water down the sliced front in many singing threads-
a song of a momentary end to use.

Whatever palpitates is for plough's harrowing.
Even hectic creatures as we, draw the stars
together of infinity, size them to suit
the rotting pages of an earthbound book.
How much more our pulsing lots, for plough, who look
in at zones, up at slate, map out routes;

our lots brought low: all world's a homeless sea.
Vast messengers above our heads wage war,
we trust through breakage, though not seeing far.
Cling to waking anguish, relinquish bed's drowse,
for the home of your heart is a falling house:
turn out - leap from the grave in your own heart.

Word: Turning

Question: What is the one thing needful? (At least I think that was the question.)

Was it love at first sight?

Word and Question

Alternate words for lines: Hoisted for yarded, and 'Have him witness' for 'One witness, pert'.


Enbrethiliel said...


This is so beautiful.

My comment is late because I had to read this three times. The first time I read it, I was too fast and didn't understand a thing. The second time, I was just slow enough to realise that I would have to go even slower. And now that I've read it a third time . . . I see that I'll have to come back for a fourth before I can tell you why I think it's so lovely.

(I've answered your question, by the way. That poem was inspired by Yavanna.)

Paul Stilwell said...

It was a struggle to finish this one and I'm still not happy with it all.

Yeah it is rather dense, LOL. I think there's also some confusion in the second stanza's first line. "Witness" is intended as a verb (as in "One to witness...), which makes the sentence a fragment, but a continuation of the first stanza.

I'm happy you have found the heart of it.