Tuesday, July 08, 2003

... a summer years ago now . . . Felix running . . .



Running to Lake Missawawi


“walking across the middle of the earth

they didn’t know where they were going

or who had sent them”



my father dreamed these words before he died

and I sat at his side then and searched his face

where the sweat poured instead of tears

felt for his hand on the edge of saying

how far we travel into this presence



off down the road on a morning in Canada

a point at the base of my spine keeps

me going, while I think of him,

my friends, all of us,

building some huge useless machine

on holy ground



goodbye to his hooded eyes

tired at the end, but blue as snakes,

goodbye the proud forehead, hawknose

and wry half mocking lips

curved with pain at the big joke



I run by these cleared fields

towards a baffling precision of choice

in which all, and nothing,

is as it should be



into a large sky running goodbye

to the small friendly lines at the corners

of those eyes, acquainted with fear and arrogance,

desolate galaxies now

hurling in a dim flicker of neon



the road opens on a continuum

of decision-making, a slow vision

painstakingly absurd, our work

- weeding the tundra



some plants must be pulled up

others bind the soil together

the truth will not be established

it is like an unexpected animal



I will keep running on the road to Missawawi

with the wheat, the clouds and the badgers,

when the flaps are closed I will sit and wait

with you all close in the hot darkness, praying,

I will write it down, father,



there is a kind of dying, like the wind,

which leaves only bits of paper behind



by Felix Mendelsohn