Lanthanum 1.14

14

An exile, out of woods and snow, finds shelter.
Home, welcome. Laughter and fellowship.
Mutual discovery. What cheer, Netop?
Old matrix of lovingkindness... New World wonder.

The pioneer of our res publica
is granite, now. Benevolent piano-
fingers stretch above the cityscape.
Blackstone preceded him (exile's exile).

Lonesome tonight, beneath folds of snowfall.
Tenting tonight, on the old campground...
(I hear my father singing. Far-off sound,
long ago (Minneapolis, St. Paul). Soft,

soft
...) Blackstone was lonelier. (Imagine
his candle in the solitude, his falcon-
pen, scratching his bird-track sentences -
remote notations, long-lost correspondence

burnt on a funeral pyre, obliterated.)
There is a loneliness more absolute,
there is a whiteness colder, more acute
than mine (a deeper snow, more delicate);

there is a hand extended overhead,
an octave sounded by stone fingertips;
there is a horse more resolute, who nips
the cold to spite the cold, whose bed

is laid among more constant lights, that shine
and shine through deepest cold and dark. A
Silver Blaze, above the gilded straw. Sure
mark. Lost mariner's high hopeful sign.

1.18.09