[from David Micah Greenberg's Planned Solstice, University of Iowa, 2003]
Schoolyard with Boat
"The child plays at being not only a shopkeeper
or teacher but also a windmill and a train."
-- Walter Bejamin, "On the Mimetic Faculty"
Our horizon thickened, dropped lower like grain.
There was no grain. And it was dawn again.
Waves darted out of the snow, turned to wind.
The snow waved as out a flawed window.
The wind made odd furrows through the field.
There was no time between lines.
Dawn and not, reflected presently.
Culled, the snow overturned and was now.
What when not, repeated the wind. Children
pulled in a blind row against it.
The resilience of children grows
with the instability of progress.
When bright snow sheared and dulled
I believe no matter. No note guards the gate.
* * *
Negation in retrospect, although not prospectively
culls in 'scape' the grating of canvas or progress.
Not words alone pleased me, said the flag
lines will not meet. The white cord chimes on the pole.
Not words alone the flag hangs, knowing
held back, as uncertainty means negation
struck down, the corrective open to learning
is sustainable in ignorance.
A gull a prospective self
billeting in the wind is resistance, in a mind
knowing resistance and measuring in it
progress, self-iterative spanning. The gull sweeps
belief. But what learns? Not what is to be learned. What learns --
when snow folds on threshing snow
when the lesson is valuable
gain will not cull in loss, snow is a thorn of it.
The snow on brick chalks and thins.
Red lines and white are drawn together.
Children brace by succeeding each other
in the wind, eyes shut to glare.
The gull sweeps and its shadow into snow
furls -- a steel share
as snow is in breathing motion like a bird
shaking snow from crest.
Miseducation risks correction within its own
frame. A crop
is a decision of field. Harbinger of space, white winter,
work with me while I live. When I do not, do not work.
Planned Solstice (Kuhl House Poets)