Mineral

Colossal bust of Ramesses II

Ozymandias Busted. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Waynesl, 2014

What will be made of my ashes?
More than thrown bones
or leaves that lie
in a cup?
I poured the ashes of my father from the plastic box
and tried to see a man there
a life.
Not even pain remained.
We who were left climbed a rock
in the desert where his last glory had burned
and died
long, long, before his body did.
The backward Santa Ana wind
spread those minerals over sand and stone
indifferent, undifferent in their import.
Methodical Joshuas now incorporate that dust
into thorny, twisted limbs.
Neptune may accept me
And make something of my bones
Some coral or a nematode
Or shark.
The hearts I touched may heal
The minds remember
And if these words find shelter with another
Eternity will make of them my seal.

English River

That voice- a girl?  her silver tones a dulcet spell
so sweet and small and silk-thread thin,
yet filling forest rill to dell
Out of sight and ken,
yet kin to my own spirit, she
In tune of pouting Fairie Queene
Sitting on a moss-beard stone
in dappled sunshade moist and green
She sings a simple song-
an herb to cure the dryness of my heart.

“Swim in the English river…” she sings
A water sprite, then, must she be.
“Swim in the English river…” again-
I wonder, might she swim with me?

This Lorelei who hides her face-
or capercaillie in the bush-
Can this song be a call to me
or does the breeze conceive my dream?
do leaves and hollow branches tune
and all conspire to draw me on
or is my heart the author of this song?

I stood upon the bank a while
and watched the flowing river swell.
I raised my face and closed my eyes
and breathed in clover, moist and full
the long wet grass, the lone green tree
a buzzing bee and dizzy me

And I have slipped, and joyous fallen in.

From pole to pole the river flows
and up the sky in fountains
and back again across the stars
to rain upon the mountains.

“Swim in the English river…” she sings
A water sprite, then, must she be.
“Swim in the English river…” again-
I wonder, might she swim with me?

dream language vision
poem grown out of a recurring dream Bill Vaughn had
03/13/90