Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What it Takes to Love: Dreamwork

1.
You entered a heart-shaped island
through a doorway in a dream,
needing a map to find
the knowledge ancestors left.
Were you really there before?
Was it revealed at a banquet?

2.
Was it the Beowulf poet
chanting his work?
Did a bird fly from the dark outside
in and out of the warmth
of the hall, soaring end to end?
That singer sang of the flight,
how quickly a human life is here,
then forgotten, so long ago.

It is never possible to go back
exactly the way you came.

3.
But you try to find the map,
the one who leads you to those
who reveal the deepest things,
maybe they are living
along the wooded roadway
clutched in the branches
of a tactile dark—
the lights keep fading as
the eyes of an animal flash.
Was that the vixen
murdered for sport?
Can you keep going down
on this half-seen road
to the end?

4.
On the highest hill
the tallest tower,
stands, stubborn but broken,
still guarding against the black ships
of the Vikings, gone a thousand
years ago. The town below,
now a dull modern port, over arched
by a useless crane. So forgetful.
This is the white beach place,
raised up above the waterline.
Here are bleached bones,
marble stones,
the daytime moon.

5.
On the edge of this place,
at a weathered table
you see a friend with a map.
This shaman turns the map over
with no directions, no explanation.
—he only cares for music—
But he sees you and he offers,
hanging down from his hand,
large white stones, carved animals
connected by a silver chain.
their once living forms
frozen in marble, one
so heart-shaped, like
the isle, this art, even
your heavy heart.
You see...sometime
somewhere, it must break.

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