Monday, October 6, 2008

Suddenly, Autumn

Is it here at the window where we truly see
the brown-leafed oaks, the drying grass,
the bulge of clouds that darkens asphalt roads?

Is it within a frame of measured faith and chosen
color, relief of temperatures in flux—the southern
wind that fishtails from the north in thirty minutes,

sun spots glancing blows through tattered canopies?
How everything is almost everything we feel?
Loosening cold clothes from our tired limbs,

the quick friction warming us against the air,
then against ourselves, between our knees, our
arms and torsos, bone and streaming lungs.

Is morning like hot tea gripping at your chest,
flooding down and through you like some
revelation, incantation of the perfect pitch,

choral song of waking, sparrow, passing cars?
Will emptiness feel as bold, will the space
our body’s voices leave be sacred words

that vision won’t speak, that sound won’t touch—
a place the mind can’t frame without such absence?


Appeared in Puerto del Sol (Volume 41, #1, Spring 2006)

5 comments:

James Golden said...

Had to tell you how much I like the poem, though silence is probably the more appropriate response.

Benjamin Vogt said...

I appreciate your comment, James. It's one of those rare poems that wrote itself, and is probably in my top 12 favorites. I haven't written a poem in quite some time, so consumed I've been with prose, but it won't be long and I'll be back.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

That is one nice poem and a very impressive list of plants etc. I have all my plants etc. written out on index cards and filed in an old card catalog. Another drawer has phone numbers and the rest are birds' nests, feathers, pods etc.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Ms. Wis--I tried being organized like you, but the best I can muster is (attempting) a computer file. I'm doing ok keeping up with it, I think!

themanicgardener said...

I liked this at once and like it more with each reading. I like the questions, more images than I'll take time to repeat, and love the interplay between abstract and concrete, especially at the end--which has to be earned. I like the form (stanzas, questions, meter)--it's so interesting to see something in hexameter! How much do you think about meter?

Anyway--I like it.
--Kate