Sunday, August 28, 2005

"These Fragments"

Have you ever walked your dog in the dark,
when the nights and the streets are still,
and the wind is clean?

"mon senblance, - mon frere"

You and your beast padding down the pavement.
The geometrics fade.
Street lamps cast your shadows before you, beside you.
His ears, his jaws, alert.

"Your shadow at evening rising to meet you."

You and your wolf
on a hill by moonlight, and you shift your grip
on the spear in your hand.

The third who walks always beside us.

I have a fountain in my garden,
among the herbs and cobblestones.

Demurely set, de sol,
sweet basil, to anoint the arms and heads,
the Crusader's herb, for courage,
sage and thyme and marjoram,
and rosemary,
for remembrance,
all lean towards the sound of water.

A handsome frog lurks there.
He is elusive.
I am bewitched sometimes by myths. By memory.
These fragments.


Muse said...

Precious words. Fragments of one piece, or two?

Bernita said...

One. Perhaps.
Eliot was the third who walked beside me when I did my post-grad thesis.

Muse said...
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Muse said...

Of course (she says, after the fact, belatedly remembering where the line is from). I used the stanza preceding that line to gain acceptance for mine (post-grad work, that is). The threat is made explicit in the line afterward.

Bernita said...

Good on you!
Always considered him the most influential poet of the 20th century.

Muse said...

I agree, but am, of course, subject to influence. I think it must have been his combination of complex mythical allusion with such simple language, marking the turn toward truly modern poetry but without losing all of the past. He had a very wide cultural gaze too, I think.

Mark Strand is my favourite poet, though. (American, but born in PEI.)

Anonymous said...

"I am bewitched sometimes by myths. By memory."

Have you ever realized a powerful memory, one which will be meaningful always, at the moment of its creation, rather than only understanding its significance when looking back?

Bernita said...

The awareness is almost always immediate.
I think of memory often in the genetic, tribal sense