Monday, February 05, 2007

Masque

As I drive out each morning
in the frantic stop and go,
the faces in the clotted lanes
are flakes of April snow.

Dissolving faces, wary,
eyes elusive, quick, machined
to perfect anonymity
by sheet metal dreams,

melting in a hasty
crawl to labor we despise:
surely something crafty
has descended from the sky

to take us while we slept,
some fine, spiraled dust that fell
to earth like silence or the dusk,
to gnaw us at the cell.

No. Not gamma clouds
or plague, nothing in fact so rare
even as rain, as much
from jungle as under stairs,

more of us than among us,
it filters out from ancient places
in our helices of years, to work
its subtle magic in the face.

*

Taciturn of late, the gods
growl in a bleaker paradise,
their chronic scandals stilled, still
Osiris, Balder, Christ.

In the beginning was the sun,
the stone, moon, water. Demon
voices joined in revelation,
loud with the permutations

of the possible, leaves
shirring the wind, hissing
prophesy or history,
endless intercession.

We cast mathematics
on the constellated void,
net spread far for any vestige,
any semblance of a word.

Between the walls of time
we only rent a narrow room,
space enough to hide an egg,
evade the barber’s broom,

room for the fang of terror
deep in the streaking dawn,
at the naked, elemental hunger
of the five o’clock lawn.

So do not sit so far, Love,
move closer, let the glow
of liquefaction take us,
flakes of April snow.

3 comments:

Minx said...

Loved it all, but this stood out...

"Between the walls of time
we only rent a narrow room,
space enough to hide an egg,
evade the barber’s broom,"

Poetry used to scare me. I think I have changed.

John said...

I think I've changed, too. Once I could read it casually, to see what was there. Now, I find it can scare the hell out of me...

Roberta said...

I have been remiss in reading you for a few days. You on the other hand have been quite busy!

I loved this.
I will think of it on my drive in.