Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Laird and His Manner

The word is out that Laird is back in town,
Or maybe not-—he doesn’t advertise.
Cagey as always, full of little bits
Of wisdom-lit and recipes and still
A handsome highwayman, he’s double belted
With bullets, bone-knobbed pliers, and a compass.
He sings too loudly, talks too loudly, eats
Peculiar combinations. He won’t lodge
With those who need him; he won’t go away,
Not before night. Or autumn. He makes rules
As need requires. Once he wouldn't budge
Until the last pin-oak leaf had detached.
One of us climbed the tree and shook it down,
Unable to face any more of Laird.

Tonight we wait for resurrection men.
We’re told the sod will open in the park,
And frontier mamas, babies dead of croup,
And gambling dudes in rotted vests will rise.
There are agnostics, certainly, but Laird,
He has his ways. Leastways, he keeps things warm.

Even the trees have changed since these were laid
In certainty of dark and dank. I shall
Fulfill some promise, Laird says, or I’ll bear
Witness to unfulfillment. There are new
Stones since then, most likely trucked in from Creede.
Do you believe in Everlasting Life?
He asks me. I do not. What I believe
Has not changed much since I was 17,
When I first said that absence was a gift.

There is no sound, except the trucks that leave.
The park is closed. The turf lies still. And Laird
Is nowhere you can find. He’s been and gone,
The cartilage of stories. What a waste,
The scent of pine borne past us on the breeze.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Classical Gas

Diana does not care to know
What makes an apple blossom grow
As long as apples still are sweet
And she has more than one to eat.

Adonis does not mean to learn
What makes Diana blaze and burn.
She looks at him as though he were
An apple peeled, and just for her.

They are, they vow, as they were meant,
As satisfied as ignorant.
Their teeth are good, their fruit is firm.
Whence comes the rot, who made the worm,

And why Adonis looks when he
Sees peaches on Niobe's tree,
They mustn't ask, not till the day
Their frightened fences run away,

Until their blood runs dry, and sun
Does not shine down on everyone.
They haven't that much time to kill,
They say. But, oh, they will. They will.