17 February 2013

Book of Hours

Thomas Bangsted:  Fuhrmann Junction

(He, She, and The River)

She:  So strange, the sky,
the tufts of greengrass
tipped with snow, the
blacktopped highway slickwet
and we on our way to where...
where, tell me again, for I see
all four seasons in the one day
and it unsettles me.

He: We'll see, we'll see where
the next turning takes us; I
don't like the look of that

She: The street lights, sentinels,
overhang the road, slim,
alien, their heavy heads
crooked over the blankness,
illuminating the way, bulbs
of milky fluorescence graceful,
prepared, on their thin stems,
flowers of industry, to brighten the
path of the factory worker
once on his way to a second
shift, humming his Polish folksongs,
the rhythm of machinery his too.

The River: See how I swell and billow?
It has come to this, that I
break all boundaries; you
neglected me, now I assail
you, the land has been
cleared out, you all seek
the safety of higher ground.
No matter. Wherever you are
I shall reach you in time.  I
am patient, my silence
grown to a roar,

He:  Still, we can see the sun
straining to penetrate these
clouds, remember the familiar
marking of our hours ticking past,
the shadows long upon
the ground, burning away

The flowers, too, engendered from
the earth, marked down in
our book of hours--they are
no more

She:  Did I lock the door?  Did I leave
the kettle on the boil?  I
can't remember, and my tulips,
what will become of them?  (Planted,
as they were, in careful circles: fleshpink,
goldyellow, bloodred.)  No matter, now, I
suppose.  Let us see what is
beyond the next turning.

He:  So many times we saw that
sign in better days, off to
sail for a day, the celebration
of a Christening, heading north
for a holiday, and now, where?
We have no charted path,
but still must carry on until
the end.

The River:  Simple humans, to
think you can escape my
grasp--even now I approach.

He and She:  With our hands joined we go
forward always, no glancing
backward at past faults, the
thin geologies broken down to furnish
gravel for a garden, the
stripping of the soil, the
fields which should have been
left to lie fallow--these smart, now,
spurring us on to find that
final, unspoiled place

No comments: