Requiem Notations I-IX

That which occurs has such an advantage over our intentions that we never recover and never experience it as it really appeared.
- Rainer Maria Rilke


forest shaped like an ark
keel running through cloud
everything upside down in the brain
as it ought to be

translations of Neruda
the heart of the world     its scent
pulling us out
of ourselves     for once

the smell of firewood     feathers
warship moving out to sea
parabola & arc
wake of the boat through English Bay
another line the eye can watch



burning in with acid the scars show
breathing nitric

windows into whatever
we don’t or can’t know

barry says bless you
& means it

stretching maps their lines


as the fragile heart
delicate dna
              strands tightening
the grip



tattoo of ink     bone black 
zinc     paper     skin

absorb the light
disclose desire

the knots of being

in song     in laughter
in     visible     ink, their names

indelibly there
in layers of flower & rock

in brush     strokes     lightning
through the brain

curled up against
edge of dark



night itself, the moon
crazy men & women

the heart an empty thing     photographs
old acids & chemicals

remembered hands & grace
of gesture

swimming the lake solo

(as if a loon
could take its tune

from you & from you
we move

grief being
            a thing

outside us



east into darkness
pink copper wings
frozen earth

city in ice
ash & bone-blue
speech of trees
maple oak beech birch

breathing light
through eyes, throat


knowing she is there
that garden

of sex & the sacred
fragment & doubt



what did we speak when we spoke
phantoms     leopards     shooting stars

as if rest or dream were
possible     imaginary

grief & echo

the tones of you
taking us to
some knowledge of love

we did not know
we could be moved to

(comet in sky

square inch of earth



speech & silence, the tongue
almost cut out

the privilege of speech & its mutations
thumbless hand

eye clouded with cataract
leg pins & crutch --

the obsession  still
the shapeliness of
the day --

pink cherry blossoms
white magnolia,
one glimpse of the green
world outside
the window



what comes comes whole to the hand
though the hand itself is broken

& winter light, lilac snow
falls on the lake
on the mountain --

you have been here
not just to practise the heart
nor just to show
how these things are done
as you slowly

fold into

the mountain, the snow, the light,
the lake in the heart, the laughter



silence and then silence as if
these things (mountain, lake, snow
were not given to you

as if these things (magnolia, cherry, birch
would not remember you
or keep you next
to their skin

as if the children & their children
had nothing better
to do than forget you

in these rooms where (you
would walk) & we
thought you
thought you