Remembering the Brent geese,
puffed chests, the ferment
of their grassy bellies full,
marching out to sea
from the Shellybanks
to some Icelandic fjord,
I think of their trenchant equations,
how they could never stay
in the landscape
that I held awhile
in my arms
then let go
like the water that falls from trees
after the rain has gone
Dinner with Old Friends on the Summer Solstice
At the last reading with the Russian gypsy cards
they predicted my heart would be ignited by love.
Now, as the host clears the dinner things,
I lay down the cards again,
anchors and knotted ropes.
I could tell them that our grief is our own.
I could tell them, but it's late
and they'd only tell me
to get over myself,
so slowly I turn away from these things
and tilt my head toward the light
like the earth on the longest day,
love on the shortest night
On a day in late October it is all there is
to leave latitude behind,
become Lilliputian beneath a canopy
of coffee trees
that grow Arabica, Robusta,
lush greens, primitive
as Rousseau's illusive rainforest.
Somewhere it is Dublin, autumn, a place
certain of its season
but here in this conjured hour
the hot wet lines of humidity
stroke like traces of memory
and precipitation beats time
on the waxen leaves
of bamboo and banana trees.
I think about what is missing from this scene:
the velvet monkey, iguana, some red kneed
tarantula, maybe a turtle of two and the birds,
vangidae, cuculidae. The door opens,
the flowers shake their sentimental heads,
pollen falls to the Palm House floor.