Lanthanum Road 4.24


Indian summer. Passage to midwinter,
secret (iron spring). Under a patchwork
blanket of maple leaves, their petrified arc
of windblown barcaroles. O flimsy splinter,

needling life's flighty, threadbare fabric
Seen in the distance, through your mobile
veil – the labyrinthine line of some elliptical
mandala. Through the vortex (imbricated)

of analogies, one petalled idler wheel –
one mote of water-spider yachts... one
water-lily. Floats up from phoshor bone
of an old man's memories... their buoyant

seal. Their gravity adrift, toward yon
zero Someone (diamond-cleft, earth-
turned, earth-toned agate – absolute
birth-red Rahab-canal) whose well will

be done
. & in a cluster of chrysanthemum
& sea-roses, the old man in the canoe
steps toward the precipice (Narragansett moon-
stone – Cautantowwit – above funerary wigwam) –

shoulders a catenary arc there (in the center
of the earth). It is some Finnish sampan,
or Sea Lord's junk – some Winnie's
lurching seahorse (4 hands clock its perimeter);

with Indian Jade tree mast, & figurehead
of red-fringed forest fiddlehead (or dark-eyed
jay), the flagship Toot-Monde launches (pied
palomino) forth – unknown, remembered...

with fractured idiom of cockney cry
the infant Word reverts to its willow-
rimmed frame; from osier-bow, lips
mime the monastery of a prairie sky.


Lanthanum Road 4.23


& out of the distant starlight-vortex comes
triangulating wingspread-arch, emitting
3rds & octaves in a major see-saw sing-
along – descending & ascending train-hoots

& humming rails framing a honeycomb-braced
biped dome, or home for seemingly-aimless
monarch flights. & this embracing salience
drips with sap from its own mellifluous

milky kingdom – golden-bright refiner's fire
searing the lips; the awkward raznochinets
stumbles across his own articulations –
the burgeoning burble emerges, a spinnaker

carried off by the air (trailing the whole ship
behind by the prow). & as hairshirt St. Louis
(a royal Hen in his last chicken-coop) sighs
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, so the heart skips,

leaps! from its biped grounding, to that hover-
craft aloft beneath the starry arch – one
parched honey-star, upon the breast – & perches
there, burning – a goldfinch in its hermitage.

& so the whole moth-kingdom of creation
grow a microcosmic, ultralight, black-&-yellow
curtain – double-wingèd, double-knit fellow-
traveler for Everyman (where tent was

rent). & whispers, into my kingdom
of the woolly moth, come – into the cedar-
forest of the butterflies – into the radius of
my milk-train way
(its horn, its trumpet-hum).


Lanthanum Road 4.22


The purposes of Providence run
along a straight iron rail through the center
of the earth – aligned with the North Star
floating motionless in night sky. Sun

& planet crossweave an aquamarine design
through pregnant space; primordial rivers
of bottomland clay are shaped & surge
into dome-bubble salience. A wing-span

curve, an upturned keel – fleet smile
in sunlit delta-mouth, harboring infant-
speech (rush-woven basket-boat, light
osier-womb) from blue-green heaven-Nile.

Out of such potter's clay came the gardener,
cumulative, georgic, sedimentary, slow;
rose Ancient of Days & his Maggie Lou,
their rusty plowshare channeling that river

toward an early orchard. & their child
inherits their earth, & the speech thereof;
all the curious rivulets of dialect, survival-
mannerism (borne into quaint parishes, wild

provinces); & when the walls come down
& the shofar blows & the Union emerges
like a bulbous crown on the rugged skin
of rippling slopes a prime oneness at heart

out of every region & clime born of love
& fire when the walls tumble down in
the central welding of mortal good will &
eternal seal (bright forge in dove-embrasure)


Lanthanum Road 4.21


The wide river, and the wide prairie,
the wistful train-hoot carried on the wind.
Hobo, on the old Soo Line; his fiery friend
Pumpkin Man, all black & orange... whee! -

skimming down Heartbreak Trail, toward
Way-Off. Monarchs of mudflats, kings
of milk – their infant, roustabout, mulish
speech rebounds to lowland Indian mound

(breast-work of Pocahontas) half-buried now
in shuttling river-clay. It is the almond Word
a-lit - bedded in the wink of a pumpkin gourd
whose tuneful memoir even a funeral scow

from Minneapolis whistles downstream
(past Resurrection Cemetery, in the snow).
At the end of the line. & now the prow
of barge Bee-of-Good-Cheer slips (I am

Bumble Bee
) unsounded into the flow –
toward St. Louis rendezvous, implicate
(with canoe-spiral) in compassionate
spider-lotos frame. Alms-given, flower-

ribbed – speech folded into delicate
ember-membrane (warm, centripetal)
where it began. & Pumpkin Man (pray tell)
is you Everyman? – so the Word was plotted

for blossoming – unspoke, unspeakable
cascade of sweetness from the root of
streams. Lie down, Hobo – heed the hoot
of your dawn milk-train again (unbreakable).


Lanthanum Road 4.20


The monarch's flown southwest to Mexico
& left behind his colors in the trees;
milkweed Melchizedek, anonymous, he's
only a memory now (from long ago).

The golden-barren limbs lift a craggy vault
like some forlorn cathedral, shivering
with leaf-news – the monarch is leaving,
... the monarch departs... Ochre, cobalt,

a taste of iron; threads of scarlet & purple
interlaced within a labyrinth of rose. So
eerie the soaring gossamer – already zero
gravity (& gone), winging 'twixt twin steeple

prongs (antennae, signalling)... Threads
of a moth-trail, designedly draped across
the Milky Way (the way he went), emboss
a furtive coign of vantage – Magellanic Cloud

of witnesses – O starry Wisdom's dancing
majesty! & joy rides in stupendous coverings
Thou ridest, Monarch-Hurricane! – thy tidings
tolled through tongs of railroad tunes, attunings –

crossed beyond vast milkweed prairies, where
the chosen children of one stutter-clear & loco
vocable – scarred logos-Lincolns (Martins, too)
enunciate, halting, thy rose-enfurlèd, plowshare

silo-smile (deep granary of everlasting victory);
& where thy sevenfold unfoldment once began
sails back again, 77-fold – prodigal origami span
of one entwining grain-bin grin (tall – 57 stories!).


Lanthanum Road 4.19


A desolate mind sailing through desolate space
above a desolate heart, Henry ekes his way
into November. All Souls' Day. Deep clay,
meanwhile, logs its transmissions (lateral

passes, shifting scales... a skittering grace).
& the end is always near, scrapes the fiddling
dogwood leaf – one bare North Star's his riddling
light-equation's standing proof (streaming millrace).

Everywhere the same. Light the middling
mean, all-penetrant... & what is this light?
Henry wears his testimony (ermine eremite)
weaseled into bookish office – his piddling,

flimsy prophet's reed – out of the substance
of his kin & kind, worn out, long-suffering.
Yet wear it he must, it is his witnessing –
out of stark void, quaint remonstrance

of battering faith. It rhymes with what he knows
(a widow's mite) of memory : long heart-lease,
tendered to the bankruptcy of time (a dream-
disease). Where (after Elijah) Elisha goes –

into the cloud of lightning-glory (track
of all the forerunners on up ahead, lighting
his way). Lanthanum road, of faltering
enunciation... Gloucester-sight-gone-black.

Exactly there, in the Star Chamber's cranium
of emptiness... the North Pole still shines.
Not Henry's to trace, these converging lines –
Noman's – very woman very man's. Light-home.


Lanthanum Road 4.18


Walk through the twilight street toward Halloween.
Through twilight light. The starlight, everywhere
the same
– its Einstein-constancy the measure
of a cosmic farmhouse (flame-bright, keen).

A pumpkin-light, a lantern glance, hearth-warm.
Tall Pumpkin Man ambles our twilight streets,
a node of light, a hill of flickering; fond Chartres
rose, Blanche Ochre-Russe, on lightweight arm

the two together make a heartfelt form (dim
shades like folded flying buttresses, tucked
wings) – flame-orange origami-construct, or
Romany barge ('mid scalloped shallop-swarm)

bound for candled Jordan-pond (familiar
constellation... nuptial night, or Jubilee).
& these are magic lantern slides of you
& me, merely (children, draw nigh...) –

from the crown of the brow to the feet
of each soul, Everywoman and Man a temple
of God
, whispers Holy Church, murmurs simple
Maggie – each one an End of History, complete

node of correlating beams of light (& the
centuries surround me with fire
, the soldier
sighed – hum-drum pebble on the shore).
As masqueraders cluster by the wooden

garden gate, creaking in soft reply (upon
its well-worn hinge) to the muttering wind
I am the door of the sheep, at river's end
the lifeboat gently bumps its moorèd crown.