Lanthanum Road 4.9


The steel prong at the center of the earth
in Henry's dream – coral coracle in the midst
of bobbing painted horses. Its double mast
lifting into one sail, its striding girth

only bright air, vertigo – a spiritual gate
flared high over vernal mound (effaced,
blood-spotted, green). Beneath terraces
of avid gophers (wind-polished, fibrillate,

ephemeral). Dream-lattice, easily
unhinged, undone. Yet the little tree
where the dreams began seems ringed
for me, just for me : a standing melody.

So pity the tired and tremulous old boy
in bleak recovery glare (of smarting snow,
intrusive stares) – your dancing shadow
on a shaken stick, your would-be Irishman;

here in such squalor's where the spirit greets
the real (his skeletal embrace, closer to fire) –
here's where the pipsqueak of a threadbare Eire
soars like Wisdom's Ariadne, fleet to fleet.

The sign of an arch-shade in my muttering
(full of air and emptiness and rain) is
homecoming, is pointing home. Homer's
oar was always there, amidships, staggering

toward life; the calm world is grace
for harrowed soil, for stolid earth.
Black river-clay, old bottomland – berth
for a hurricane (filled with time and space).