Thursday, December 06, 2007

Earthenware




It’s pleasant here among the dead,
here beneath the ancient trees
that drift and whisper overhead,
to stroll the polished privacies,

these aisles and avenues to which
the sleepers never thought to come;
young or old, poor or rich,
all our roads meander home.

I love the weather-blackened smiles
of pensive angels, the ghost of mirth
at those who come to reconcile
Forever with the rooted earth,

but I come for dates and names,
to see the slow erosion cull
chiseled edges, as earth reclaims
her stone for proper burial.

“AMANDA,” a small one says, in rose,
a participle unadorned:
“Beloved,” her curls and calicos
are here for centuries to mourn.

Down the hill, another one,
chipped out and carved by hand,
with a horseshoe nail: “INFENT SON.”
To see it is to understand.

It’s why we came, no? It’s clear
that not a single thing will stay
for very long, our works, our fears,
our very stones will melt away.

All we make our mountains of
is chips, shards of earthenware.
Nothing will be left but love,
as insubstantial as the air.

4 comments:

Roberta said...

That last line is a killer.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Brilliant imagery and evocative words. And Roberta is right about that last line.

Debi said...

And I also love the first line ...
... and all the ones that come between.

pundy said...

That's a very moving poem. I like the way it heightens the poignancy of the misspelling, the story behind that illiterate description.

Thanks, yet again.