Fall 1989, Volume 6.2


The Gypsy

Dentro de la fragua lloran, dando gritos, los gitanos.
–Federico García Lorca, "Romance de la luna, luna"
¡Niña, niña!
¿Qué haces en la luna?
¿No sabes que hace frío ahí?
What would you do
If the child were yours?
She doesn't know
To come down from the moon,
The cool moon,
The white moon,
The leaping September moon,
But bareback
She rides the moon,
"It's I, O moon!"
¡Ay, ay! the moon,
And clasping
The moon's flanks.
Which is all very well,
If she doesn't catch her death,
But what when the moon wanes
And leaves her there
To grasp its aspen smoke?
What would you do
If the child were yours?
If only she
Would visit the room,
The warm room,
The rose room,
The still in December room,
The room
Beyond the cold stream,
The room
Beyond the winter wind,
The room
Where the moon,
White pupil of night's eye,
¡Niña, niña!
¿Qué haces en la luna?

It is November,

And only the desk is light.
Morning wind, dry leaves outside the door,
The sound of rain to come,
And I will hide new poems
Among the petals of this last red rose.

Deer Hunt

Yellow leaves on the birch tree
Tint the sky toward green
In the last moments before blue
Follows the sun into the west.
The waxing moon grows
From the shadow of its dark cup,
A white rose rooted in the night.
"When a deer dies, the last thing it does
Is stick out its tongue. I don't know why."
The young buck, his throat slit
And a hole with the crystal edges
Of a cracked geode open in his back,
Hangs from a red cord twisted around his
Single points and secured under his jaw.
Blood drips onto the garage floor,
Red moons on a heaven of cement.
About Trees
There can be no wind small enough
For your feelings,
No words sufficiently unobtrusive
For your thoughts.
The gray of February,
That month of lines,
Of hungry hearts,
Of Valentines,
Suits the leaving well
And displays the lines to good advantage.
They fork across the sky
And thicken at their point of decision,
Trajectories of fallen leaves,
That, like dry water,
Splashed around your feet last October.

What a fine example is the lodgepole pine!

Think of the height its lines attain
And its bare stretch of trunk
Separating needles from earth.
The real poem started in the first stanza
And is now traveling underneath the trees.
Consider the forking pine:
Two trunks drop limbs that lift up their tips
Ending the lines in needles.
Multiple trunks give plants a special usefulness,
According to the Western Garden Book,
By emphasizing form.
It is traveling underneath trees,
Underneath all words.
Imagine a tree whose branches
Precede the trunk,
Circling a sheltered center
Through which the trunk could grow.
That's preposterous.
It cherishes earth
While looking beyond trees.
Reflect on leaves as they reflect light:
Think about their resemblance to stars
Sparkling at the tips of branches.
Formulate leaves shimmering in the air
Waiting for the twigs to reach them.
Now, that might happen,
Especially with a well-established trunk.
It knows that height does not matter,
That form is everything.
Pretend you are the sap of the tree.
When it is time to go on to autumn,
The twigs consolidate,
The branches come together,
And you slip back down the phloem
To wait in the roots where
Going on feels like going back.
It searches for its true form
Among the primitive materials at hand.
Next season, as you are confined in your narrow space
And forced back up thinking you are going to explode,
Remember that the major junctions are already set down
And that finally you will run out the ends as green fire.
Then from below the trees
It presents a bit of sky through the trees
Last, picture a tree by a lake.
One spring no leaves will appear on its limbs.
But the sap that left limbs and trunk
Will have passed into the soil
To mingle with the water of the lake.
A passer-by will see the tree
With ripples blooming on its limbs.
And wings, always the wings,
That pass for clouds above all trees.