Tuesday, January 29, 2002

David Zieroth

Fell into a stack of recently published books of poetry. All by rather obscure or at least not extensively known poets. The volumes were sent into a magazine editor for reviewing purposes but she had simply stacked them to be passed on though they stayed put for months. Thought I would share some.

The concluding poem from Crows Do Not Have Retirement by David Zieroth.

The Options

When you die
here are the options:
everything or oblivion

A centre of light and around it
all you love, those dead
and those abiding still
and each holding
an object of endearment
you lost long ago
before you came to
know land be simultaneously
at last
at rest
beyond words

Or else your cells
stop their chemical
talk, the neurons say no
and their warmth leaves you
not even the absence of black -
nothing of earth's up, round, biomass span
just the nonexistence
you tried to conjure once
by closing your eyes and
sleeping, except that dreams
fired their figments
across space at you
and your muscles straining

While we live
we pick one of these options
to live by, and neither is understood
the way the rain in the tree is
who speaks to us on March lust,
the way water and clouds are
which tell us to walk out
into the day,how to step
on grass and mud and feel the pull
upward and then sag an hour later
down, we with our little time
and our ideas and our blood