22 April 2009

W. S. Merwin

[from W. S. Merwin's The Shadow of Sirius, Copper Canyon, 2008]

Far Along in the Story

The boy walked on with a flock of cranes
following him calling as they came
from the horizon behind him
sometimes he thought he could recognize
a voice in all that calling but he
could not hear what they were calling
and when he looked back he could not tell
one of them from another in their
rising and falling but he went on
trying to remember something in
their calls until he stumbled and came
to himself with the day before him
wide open and the stones of the path
lying still and each tree in its own leaves
the cranes were gone from the sky and at
that moment he remembered who he was
only he had forgotten his name

Gray Herons in the Field above the River

Now that the nights turn longer than the days
we are standing in the still light after dawn

in the high grass of autumn that is green again
hushed in its own place after the burn of summer

each of us stationed alone without moving
at a perfect distance from all the others

like shadows of ourselves risen out of our shadows
each eye without turning continues to behold

what is moving
each of us is one of seven now

we have come a long way sailing our opened clouds
remembering all night where the world would be

the clear shallow stream the leaves floating along it
the dew in the hushed field the only morning

The Shadow of Sirius

No comments:

Post a Comment