Tuesday, April 18, 2017

the hollow reed that sounds / at the marsh?

I put the stars 
up in the writing room
and I watch the moon slip
out of the hiding place
of the night
I wonder where the day went

I think about love
and the hard lessons of life
I wish the moon would walk
across the catwalk of the sky
with the hard points of the stars
but instead        she disappears

and the room is simply
the place where I write by myself 
what are we here for and how do I begin?
the way to the end of the story 
is in small pieces that speak about
the failures of memory 

every step of the way
I fall down      and I pick myself up
for all success might be
is never giving up
the moon cracker breaks in half
and dissolves in the soup of the night

I polish this line      and I lay the limp line down
I lift up the next line and I place it
by the first one that is stone    and this is how story happens
you think of the past and then memory coaxes
out a song      the sea roars in the shell of your head
one day the shore is covered with the detritus of a life

you might think of this poem as a shoreline
and the sea has smashed many a craft in this place
I watch the future that comes in with the tide
and I look back at the land of the past that is vanishing 
surely time might be   the hollow reed that sounds 
at the marsh?    I watch the moon for new words

but the night has eaten that mouth
I wish for a poem but nothing comes 
but the ragged skirt of this thing
this scarecrow that I place on the landscape of music
surely you all understand that these are failed things?
the crows come and they caw about the frame of silence

I wished for a song and this is all that came through
but I don't wait for perfection
I simply try       darling when you die
there won't be time then       to think of perfection
and so while you still live
make what you can and let the bleed happen as it will


Rodney Crowell - "It Ain't Over Yet (feat. Rosanne Cash & John Paul White)" [Official Video]

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