Until I retrieve my journals and papers from Alaska, this will be one of the oldest poems I can share here. It’s definitely a poem. Circa 1991.
Elegy For Lisa, Finally Free
—You carried me so far
Beside the artificial trench where you lie still,
There is a tableau of masks, frozen faces
Which endlessly recreate a picture of a life you will never know.
All sway imperceptibly to the voice
Of the loins from which you sprang,
A father hating love.
Each hearing you again in memory,
Drive the cycle of dust which turns and
With each rise and
Fall of the spade, another clump of earth
Your obscenely shining coffin,
Creating miniature dust clouds
Which ripple like uncomfortable crowds.
They should settle and become mud
Like that from which you were fashioned,
A thick, dark mix which will spread to cover all.
Resting only on itself in the long wait
From the heat of beginning, when it dries and splits,
Radiating with cracks like shallow webs, and
And after time has passed,
When more dust of dead has scattered over
The earthen shelf,
Rains will come.
First, a touch of dew impenetrate,
Then– instant fury– it will fall solid.
The last indivisible sense of what you were
Will merge in this dread calmness.
I wish this to gather into a sea, frothing and receding,
Until a new platform of growth emerges,
Solid and supple clay which will be twisted by
Embodied light into limbs and trunk,
Face and hands.
Walking a fresh new path,
The old world aged beneath your feet,
Will cast off the earthen mould
As you finally near me
I will your movement…
And these tears that fall to the dust—
May they renew the cycle once more.