It's Lighter When the Sun Shines
A GIRL WALKING INTO A SHADOW
The meer trees cast no coolness were you go.
Your small feet press no smallness into the grass.
I know your mourn of days, and mourn I know.
All hues beneath the ground are bare grayness.
When I was young, I might have touched your hair,
Gestured my warning, how that fire will gray,
Slight arms and delicate hands fall heavier,
And pale feet hasten to a dark delay.
Now old, I love you slowly, through my sound.
Lightly alive, you cannot mourn for trees.
You cannot care how grass, about the ground,
Gathers to mold you shadow's quick caress.
Heavy for you, I hear the futile speech
Of air in trees, of shadows in your hair.
Quick to go by me now, beyond my reach,
You pause. With darkness deepening everywhere,
Something of light falls, pitiful and kind.
Something of love forgot the dark embrace
Of evening, where the lover's eyes go blind
With dreaming on the hollows of your face.
THE GIRL SECRETLY IN LOVE
She has set the table, and brought to perfection in her mind what her
lover, seated opposite her, will answer softly in a little while, looking in her
face. This food is like the reed of an oboe.
Under the table now, her naked ankles caress her lover’s warmth, while
voices which she does not hear, compliments her. The beam of the lamp
tangles, weaves her voluptuous distraction.
Far away a bed lies patient and trembling in the exile of its fragrant covers,
like a mountain lake that will never be abandoned.
René Char, translated by James Wright
It's Lighter When the Sun Shines, My Mother's Vision
Certain, there were dark days in the room
with the two walls of windows, the sunroom we called it,
where the tv filled the emptinesses
so we didn't have to talk, where we lived our life
in fear of you, but so familiar was it, that we knew no better.
Nor did you. We may as well have been
on tv, playing roles, we were very good at it.
Then, something changed. Perhaps it was the politics,
a change in social consciousness, an awareness
that dawned organically, and it was shocking to find
so much damage had been done for so long, to so many,
while no one was watching, a great societal shudder
passed amongst us, even into our little sunlit room.
We changed, all of us, you as well, we've gave you credit
for that while blaming you for too much, for our own faults,
more than you deserved. Once the blame started to fall,
it was hard to stop. When I was little, and still innocent,
I loved coming into that sunlit room in the late afternoon
when you came home from work, and though you were terrifying,
you had yet to terrify me, and to be in your presence
was to be in the presence of something greater
than teachers and crushes. You were a presence, and maybe
you had yet to feel your own demons, yet to be consumed,
yet to unleash whatever it was that turned you so ugly.
I think I remember the room clearly, but I don't.
The titles of books are indistinct, but the labels are clear —
Martini & Rossi, Gordons, J & B, Smirnoff; and mom,
a pretending presence, knitting relentlessly.
I have to write of this in the past tense. The room
may still be there, but we are not. You are not.
So many bad things happened, so many sad memories
seem to have begun in that room.
I think of this only because of something I read today.
I haven't thought it, or you, in a long time. I wish
we had had more sense, all of us. It didn't have to be
so hard. We made it so, and you were young, and scared.
Poetry by one trick pony
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Written on 2015-03-21 at 05:45
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