Friday, September 11, 2009

A Grief Unobserved

Ma has a heart of fire
Flashing, it cannot burn low
Dad hates a crook and liar
Give him a yes or a no
My sister is growing a little son
The images fascinate everyone
Purer love he'll never know
My brother is living in Babylon
I asked him where all these years have gone
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard
Some grief has gone unobserved.

David passed through the waters
With the companion he found
David crossed over rivers
Called by his name not to drown
Darkness in the morning hour
David climbed the top of the tower
And he would never come down
James asked his mother why he was there
David was of the water, not air
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard
Some grief has gone unobserved.

Maybe I believed you too much
Loving you, I risked dying
Idols are dangerous to touch
And on a cold bed I am lying
Hoping for sleep that's restoring
Only to rise before morning
And wake from pedestrian dreams, crying
I pray for the world, I pray, love, for you
Maybe there's life we never knew
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard
Some grief has gone unobserved.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Eclipse of the Harvest Moon

I. On his nineteen years

These days are sadly sweet with much to-do;
I shape my share of thought, to share with few.
I speak with salience, saying what is true,
But all I say is not all that is true.
So with the mind and mouth, so with my make;
I'd fain to move and mold as I would take.

II. To his family and one he did not know well

A man and lady follow for the one;
They follow still, and nineteen years are done.
I am that one, a being grown but limp;
Who walks so high he often seems a simp.

A couple never known to me in face
Gave rise to one I knew in time and place.
I trust they followed her, as did we all;
But no one finds her now, because of fall.

We say we knew her, but not known too well.
The autumn leaves refused to bear her tale.
Her name is set in stone and not the wind,
And I see newborn spots upon my skin.

III. In the fields, chasing the eclipse

Assorted people felt me out this day;
As I was sought, I sought to push away:
Away I went to shapely darkened fields
To watch the moon disclose her waxing yields.

I knelt and lay in close on cooling earth,
An unseen shadow raised from evening birth.
I brought a song to sing of moons and knights,
And dreamt of dancing with the lunar light.

The harvest moon with fullness in the sky
Eludes description though it hits the eye:
No redder ruddy reddish reddened red
Was surely dreamt, but how comes light from dread?

I let my thoughts be raped while lying still
Upon a shade of green which darkness killed.

September 1996

I wrote this around my nineteenth birthday. The title describes exactly when. I had learned recently that an acquaintance of mine from high school died in a motorcycle accident. She was the first person from my senior class to die (one student had committed suicide a year before graduation). She was so bright and alive. Her life had yet to begin and shine, and now it was done. I collected my thoughts and composed this piece. I've left intact the grammatical oddity of the question in the penultimate stanza, but I've changed two words for clarity's sake.