Ann Arbor Review
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
The transparent vase is filled
With sleeping wind. The wind
Dreams of the sand dunes
Drenched with a new color
After spots of rain combined,
The strings of unraveled shadows
From white furled flowers
Quiver across the color change.
I dream as the wind dreams,
Sand dune, a Slavic Teutonic blonde.
The flash came from a finger
Of water rubbing golden contours
Of sea weed's berries broken
From the sand under gulf waters.
Its bedazzlement was the blade
That cut away the voices of the world,
Loosened from us the uttered words
That kept us when close apart.
She became more beloved,
More a stranger to me.
We strolled among autumn aureoles,
Gold edges ovalling around oracular leaves,
Cyaneous the cypress in the dark garden.
We felt untangled from childhood and its chills,
From the threats of theatrically masked adults,
From the abusive imprecations of armchairs.
We were armipotent as an armistice,
Arm touching arm in an arcane arcade.
Light from a storm lingered on her hair.
Autumn's red glow on dark curls.
The shadow lingered on the white lily
As long as the buzzard was immobile
On the evening's mobile crimson light
That wrapped its arms around an oak limb.
Buzzard flew away to survive on death,
The white lily lost its dark shawl.
The lily's nakedness tinted an afternoon crimson.
I, in rapture, had grown older by a lily.
She, responsive, had grown older by a lily.
The lily, slowly losing crimson, grew older.
HOUR, PLACE, TIME, SPACE
Hour, place unknown to us.
Amber flowers made of wind
Sprouted from our touching,
Floated, fell to cover us.
Stars were nearer, their white fires
Had secured their stems deep in ground.
Never before was the Snowy egret this luminous.
We heard the obscure words of our finiteness.
The language of twigs told us we could not live
Without hour, without place.
For Mist, The Bat Girl
Sitting on a small, seemingly
White space, but specked
With the tiny pulverizations of leaves
Bones, and broken bric-a-brac,
I cleanse away all beliefs
That direct, distort perception
To become concerned
And involved with a grass stem
With blade-shaped leaves
That zigzags across a seemingly
Tabula rasa of sand.
I think of the Child Buddha
When sat down to watch
Scythes and hoes swung
To cultivate the earth
Being upset when he saw
The grass being beheaded,
The magic roots uprooted.
He sensed how cultivation
Dimished and destroyed
Empathy, the basis of humanity,
Saw why civilization is founded
On wars and suffering.
I think of the exquisite,
Profound poet, Andrew Marvell,
How his mower murdered the grass
Because he was one of the commplace,
A rejected lover, a fired employee,
Or one who gets slapped.
As I concentrated on the grass
That was here and before me
I was being transformed and born again,
Being liberated from the language of lies
Spoken by the masses, the mob, the slave mentalities,
I was freed from the language trap
Built out of second-hand damaged material
By the labor of popular opinion,
An antidote spread through my body
To subdue the poison
Of the articulated beliefs and value
Of the social, I-they, status quo
That had slipped in to pollute my body.
I gazed at the grass, felt my blood
Flow through the grass stem,
Felt the grasses' sap flow as blood
Through my new-born body.
Some distance away, I became aware
There was a willow. The limbs drop
To touch with their tips the water.
Wind-moved, the willow wrote signs
Like runic writing on the water surface.
The willow defied the abstract cognition
Of fixed, measurable space and came nearer,
Even touched, thrilled my flesh,
As I gazed with intense attention.
A coot was swimming in and out
Of the wet willow's leaf tips,
The thin willow leaf shadows
Crossed the white bill,
The shadows floated from their origin
To caress with their fingers
A scar on my palm.
I sat, thought how biology had taught me
How not to understand nature.
A familiar noise, a car wreck, chrome
Crashing into the metallic blue
Of a BMW roadster's closed door,
Brought back ordinary reality
To distract from supreme reality,
But this change in orientation
From the summum bonum
To the worthless and trivial
And its downgrading of life
Was erased from my consciousness
By a sound, a sound of salvation,
The sound of geese.
Duane Locke, Lakeland, Florida
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