Tag Archives: memory

Lament (a Cento)

Our one forever,

when it stole through the red gates of sunset
left over from autumn, and the dead brown grass
is yet vibrant with the cadence of the song you might have been.

No longer mired in waiting to begin.

They tell us the night means nothing,
and the candles their light the light.

Nothing is hid that once was clear,

then gone and then to come:
all the time, except the split
second, except—

What is there to say except to lament.

You live in the wrong place.

There’s no flowering time to come.

The hands fell off my watch in the night

and you counted the time
from this instant.

**********************
This Cento contains lines from the following poets: 

Kenneth Rexroth, John Koethe, Lola Ridge, Brenda Hillman, Martha Collins,  Melissa Kwasny, Katharine Tynan, Esther Louise Ruble, David Yezzi, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Jonathan Galassi, Michael Goldman, Robert Francis, and Lucille Clifton.

 

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While

I spent the morning reading my old poems
and realize they feel like memories.
The lonely ones that desire a second (or third)
reading, the triumphant ones
that trumpet their arrival,
the amorous ones –
they pull me into a corner by the collar and linger,
the nonsensical ones that twirl and wheel
about the sacred and profane, the love or disdain.
The obtuse, they wander.
The linear, they gander.
The poems, I gather to mind
and hold to abide in warm embraces.
They all have their places.

garnish

Bare trees anticipate
holding snow – amassed
in silent devotion
to the aesthetic

adorning the view
once green – now
lifeless and worn-

white poinsettias look best
when surrounded by red,

reflections from polished silver
are most notable
in darkness.

dropped ornaments
that shatter live on
as recollected ones,

objects to decorate
our mind’s branches.

influence

Here I sit, invoking morning’s grace
without a photo to remind me of your face,
I realize each feature in my mind.

The light appears and outlines all the trees
your eyes-they blink, the soul behind them sees
and opens up to me, and then I find

the sky- expanse- turns light from dark to blue.
This advent of your beauty so accrues
and imprints on my memory, all combined.

The subtle pink that sunrise paints a-sky
reveals a blushing temperament, and why
I can’t remember it – in kind.

The flowing chestnut curls that so beguiled
my colored dreams, the shadow of your smile-
they fill my morning view and so remind

me of the gracefulness I laud and rhyme.

emerald, as I exit

emerald,
which is
all I see in a memory
passing a hallway and a staircase.
to a glass door.
yet in the moments after
the vision of her dress-
her hair, streaming in cinnamon
and obeying the pace,
the sounds of her walk
her lips moving to an unassisted conversation
these details attend and amass
a likeness,
but always with emerald first
as I exit.

flashback

just because
a spark burst
in sun-ly ways-
an excimer flare-
a dazzle- beware
the aftermath
of this exclaimated
instant-
when the airs
are gone – vaporizing
and in the moment,
extemporizing-
a crumbly proclivity
appears and departs
in a fluted nigh,
and we are left with
a notion-
nary embers or sighs.

*************
I do enjoy the sounds of words. Also, I enjoy the freedom, as a poet, to create a “word” where none exists -if it suits my purpose for conveying a mood or contributing to a sound collage. This poem, I think, does both. Thanks for reading.