A beagle here is
A commissioner of the entire downtown night
In the culvert neighborhoods, and
River run communities
Barely lighted –
On a stormy day it can stretch
Its vanguard and territory
Out to the bristling sea
Barking brokenly at the depthless danger
Foaming and barging on
The desperate propensity of a harbor town.
You can’t capitulate in this environment.
You can’t go untutored through the
Remarkable and unfamiliar
Coatings of greylighted mist
On a sort of journeyman’s walk, or
Into the uncoloured meadow
And unconscious bleating of lambs;
Everything here rises on a distant peak, and dies.
So you should not think, Because you cannot see it that
It’s not there.
Lightening splits old oaks outside
And clears all forecasts of the morning.
The mundane goes out of its bough
That’s sanctuary for a moment until
The sun is up in its undamaged domain;
Handel’s opera plays out just now,
Though I can’t figure it out, why this one, why now?
Is it playing on radio, maybe.
It’s nothing compared to you,
Your tea long lost the early chimera
Of soaking heat; the bungled breakfast table
Was less, well, less animated
When you left it.
And now the sky’s outward graduation
Comes freighted with adrift colors,
Some identifiable cloud formations
Shifting to a grey autopsy, settling.
Can the truth be some inclement affair?
From the window perched on the hill,
The queen, rook, pawns,
Draw together in their plan
Palloring between the city’s grids, and
Blocks diffused and heavy beneath the sky, all
Immovable except for the upward low expanse bending down
Into the sunken valley
In the elements of divine strategy
Before us on the landscape.
I can contemplate how the ground’s fought over position
Skewers cityscape, and discovers
Weaknesses along the river, flanks
And strengthens behind every location
Running straight or in awiry conundrum
Through its electrified wires
And tunnels and unearthed troves and other
Fields of funerbra and sacrifices
Too old for the imagination.
There’s a sharp but salient buzz
In a secondary room
And it switches into the frequency of a channel
As the tide might zip and run;
The rain is pelting the surface of water nearby
And a darkening air predicts
A significant thunder shower, or was that the radio?
I listen to the broadcast trying to sort its
Iced melody and voice out. Still more voices
That seem further away with each
Punctuation of another talking voice
That each swap and flow back.
All this while you are bundling
The large Samsonite
Over the landing and hammering
The canticled balustrade
Like keys, taking the staircase through
A range of familiar notes –
Lo fa mi so la di do dah.
It’s sure that’s wrong. Of course.
This morning in shaped darkness,
Light grew in measurable stops
Questioning each object in the room
With a tender and curious blend
Of morning fatigue and the day’s
Inevitably bland and
Undulating curiosity, as if
Just entering an antique shop,
Where all things as old as yesterday
Had a value that is negotiable.
You start whistling , not whistling, the way you do sometimes.
The birdcall I remember. Was it larks?
Where was that now?
Hard to know and the window pane
Condensed and hardly immutable to
The song of birds we wavered,
Though there was more of an
Erratic volume to everything then
Outside in the “preternatural” world, and internally,
In the tacit body’s nerves,;
Nothing but the delirious silence
Of a love, and endurance, that traveled.
The delay in sleep gives in to untimely tiredness that comes
Because the night was last interrupted
And the sky had suddenly fell on the morning
After the night’s humid sterility.
This might have left us with more intact senses were
It not for the pair of nocturnal nightingales
That corroded our senses with their astral prayers.
Birds have an unlikely tendency
To sing when lightning ends;
They sing this way
As if morning came disguised
In a the following brood of its bright bolt, though it is still dark.
What we say of old mythology is
So much taken with the birds.
The gramercy account of this place
Is like bowstring held taut
That flies perpendicular into a
The perpetual absence of a heaven.
Your grandmother was evidence
Enough that the old gods were corrupt
When she’d sit upright
At the foot of the bed praying
In her thunder-pleasing words,
Finishing up the storage
Of her beads, and intoning
The silent ends of mocked despair.
I would say nothing of it thereafter.
Nothing in her sacrificial breath
That wheezed as she climbed into bed
With the sated anonymity of body,
Of a being having meted
Life out in the measured strain
Of her own prayerful words,
Could understand this.
Parallel with her night go
Sounds that halt
And will never be heard again.
The ancients made Grecian lyres
Into new temples with sandstone colonnades –
Rising notes as fat as perspective goes.
In one stretch of our arms, time’s
Private tour of history sings well of
The parallel harmonies of this universe
Blending and quarreling as a set of
Furtive westward lights crowning
The horizon, and day having made
Peace with green laurels given solemnly
In remoter areas and still forests
Still not electrified.
This is all accepted reasonably well.
Outside, the opera is staged
On antique ruins
Brought to life in floodlight.
A conductor with his
Baton raises the magic of sound
And scatters it like wind into twin harmonies
Twinging like nerves caught up
In the barren and bold midnight trees.
Cicadas have become as silent
Zeus, one arm displaced is
No longer holding a fork, or spear.
You push aside into the contended light
Some foul play maybe
And are uneasy with this dichotomy,
This distention that somehow goes between light
And dark until all the defined elements
That matter, or take their form from the memory
Of the world fall suddenly apart.