Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Arc of Poets or the Poets' Ark

The poets desperate to be heard are the neediest

The poets desperate for understanding are the damned,
good or bad, according to the case they make

The poets aware of their limits
are condemned to hard labor
and left to their own devices

The poets whose lives
plod on
without risk,
metaphorical or bloody
well enough
they will fall short

And the poets out on the edge
and receding as the universe expands
expect little from us, though we ought to keep trying.

The Drums Beating and Beautiful

Behind the house
a mound rose up,
an Indian burial place,
smelling faintly
of lonely flutes
and fading light,

or, maybe, a grassy knoll,
redolent, reeking,
of ache and violence
astonishingly rounded off,
by time and wind
and by the rain in all our hearts.

But digging in,
owning the long, green hill
by right of excavation, exposes
a handful of rocks,
oval, flat, monochromatic,
and magnetic to me.

There must be a big ton of these,
each piled on each,
objects of some human agency gone by.
The years and the dirt accumulate,
the mound takes on
the shape of the stones
beneath, and the grass grows on top.

Though I do not know the dreams
of rocks, I come here
for the rain in my heart,
the rotation of it all,
the flutes lonely and wild,
the drums beating and beautiful.