Sunday, September 5, 2010

Poem for a perfect autumn day

For make no mistake about it, it is indeed autumn here in the somnolent Pacific Northwest. And in accordance with the usual signs -- the softer slant of light, the scents of the earth cooling down, the return of morning mists -- I came across this poem in a notebook. It has no attribution and I cannot find its author via Web dowsing or through any other source. If you recognize the writer's work, will you please let me know?

I post this in particular for the participants of last spring's Delve course on August Wilson, for whom this poem will remind them of Joe Turner's Come and Gone and especially of Gem of the Ocean.


Some persons are possessed
With the power to tell
Perfect strangers
what is most evident in the air
They pull the past
like rays of light
Into the present

There are people who see the hidden things
Below the earth's surface:
Veins of metals
bones of the dead
subterranean waters
rise up to
greet their feet
their hands vibrate
in the pulsing shapes
of the earth's underground arteries

Light impressed upon an object
Retains its influence for centuries
Radiant forces proceeding from the dark
Form pictures

Why not waves of sound?
In perpetual existence
a panorama
Passing into unending symphony?

The great picture gallery of eternity
Mountains elevated, degraded lakes formed, drained, life
flourishes Passes away
New constellations reveal secrets
We have never been able to discover

Why not read the history of the planets
In the heavenly bodies beneath our feet?

The faintest whisper
Of every generation carried
In unyielding

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