Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Poem

Mourning Pablo Neruda

Water is practical,
especially
in August.
Faucet water
falls
into the buckets
I carry
to the young
willow tree
whose leaves
have been eaten
off
by grasshoppers.
Or this jar of water
that lies
next to me
on the car seat
as I drive
to my shack.
When I look down,
the seat all
around the jar
is dark,
for water doesn't intend
to give, it gives
anyway
and the jar of water
lies
there quivering
as I drive
through a countryside
of granite quarries,
stones
soon to be shaped
into blocks for the dead,
the only
thing they have
left that is theirs.

For the dead remain inside
us, as water
remains inside granite--
hardly at all--
for their job is to
go away,
and not come back,
even when we ask them,
but water
comes to us--
it doesn't care
about us; it goes
around us, on the way
to the Minnesota River,
to the Mississippi River,
to the Gulf,
always closer
to where
it has to be.

No one lays flowers
on the grave
of water,
for it is not
here,
it is
gone.


- Robert Bly
from The Man in the Black Coat Turns (1981)

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