Lanthanum 1.23


If snow were memory. If fleeting snow
became stone... it would be this gentle,
off-white, crumbling limestone. The shuttle
flies too quick to see (time past only a shadow)

and brooding tamaracks bear witness – Raven
departs (brushing the snowflakes from his wing).
A hush falls on the stage (farewell to everything).
We must say goodby. They are waving, waving...

and the heart grows wild with understanding
(not more tame). Swells like a fiery advocate,
like a breaking rain... like a railroad trumpet
in the distance. Roll away, you rolling...

On the edge of the terrace, a chestnut grows.
Near the statue of that early Welcomer, his
outstretched hand (plumbline and leveller).
Horse chestnut. Sturdy sister to the rose.

And there is nothing without the moon tonight.
Just this full moon, and a luminous plane
of clouds, a few bright stars. Serene
heaven... O let the heavy earth grow light.

Lightness and heaviness, a double rose.
A starry balance in the autumn sky.
Each limited mortal thing floats in the eye
(an immortal trireme-lens, that Moses knows)

– this wedding barge, this nuptial canoe
that sails for Colchis past the Hellespont
bears earth and heaven, sprite and elephant
in graceful, motionless top-spin. Revolve, anew.