Noondark Dreaming

Too early to eulogize Autumn?

Sometimes I’m somewhere – Jesus,
it’s no poet’s dream!
A street decayingly toothed with slouched houses
dirty cars and trash bins
(every day is collection day)
where muckfoot gutters suck shoes to the potholed road
in the scum-slurry brown of Autumn’s
rape-shortened honeymoon.

(Winter you shrill beast, you crook, you tyrant!
Making the robes of three seasons’ bounty
cower and tremble dead to earth
before the world can limp naked
and embarrassed into your icy bed!)

Sometimes I’m somewhere – Jesus,
yes, no dream of mine!
A street wearing hard a century’s neglect
and the slop-rotten offerings of a
beaten world’s winter-tithe
all swamped under noondark and I think
thank God I’m a poet.

This is beautiful.

Weight

It’s heavy

Weight

Is there a name for the lie
that comes when you are still and
something moves – the bus or the
car next to you – and in your lost
connection there, for just a moment,
you believe that you’ve moved –
it sat still! – for just a moment
you broke the world
and lived an illusion.

You were a ghost,
moving without a host
in the opposite direction
from some stuck thing.

What is it called, this lived mystery,
this excitement of the unexpected
(but still so possible) game that
living plays with the sleepwalking world?

What is the word for this thing
that unmoors the man from the body
and why only forward or reverse?

Why does that never happen
with the snow? With the rain?

Why can I not lay down on the damp earth of the forest
and freeze the falling autumn leaves
to let me believe, for a moment
that I am floating upwards?
To believe that they are stuckstill
in the sky and all the motion’s mine?

I never climb.

I Don’t See Your Dogfish, Mary

A one-donut poem for Mary Oliver

No Mary, I don’t know what a smile means
but it would be a lie if you told me outright.

And is that what you mean? That a smile is a lie?
You sounded so cynical just then,
with your flickering and nails,
that I could believe it.

I could believe that you mean that
a smile dances a crime across the face
of the sea. That like your black sleeve
it covers so many things and only just
barely recedes. I could believe it
if that is what you mean.

I guess you want me to believe
that a smile could mean anything
and my cascading inclinations
on this day or that will be
the only way to know
whether a smile is a hopeless future
or an exploding discovery –
a waterfall of the sun.

I guess you want me to believe
that my tidal disposition is
the only way to know exactly which
kind of a smile is the story of my life
that you don’t want to hear.

You want me to believe that
that is how you can stand it
you can bear it
you can believe it
from me
the smile
no matter what it means.

As long as it doesn’t mean an easier world
because that would be a lie that I told you outright.
 

https://www.best-poems.net/mary_oliver/dogfish.html