I look for no shapes in clouds,
beyond those which are there.
The radio plays Handel,
a sonatina; the harpichordist
vibrates all visible things to life,
marking in each its tension,
and fine coherence.
Lying on the floor,
looking out the window,
I see in cirrus a shimmer of music:
shattered clouds dispersing.
at percussion's will,
the fragments of ice reshape--
and in their convergence
form a new conversion:
I would be as a child is,
and look beyond.
"The Cape Rock," Vol Thirteen, No. One, 1978, p. 47.
An old man came to my door at an awkward time
for rekindling ancient friendships. He was as alert,
as I, but we both mere shadows. He handed me
a 50-year-old photograph and said “I am Roy.”
I recognized right now the 50 years ago boy,
I heard him laughing 50 years ago as if a joke
was happening this very moment, but for my life
I did not know Roy; I could only fizz a gape.
Both of us had for many years been beefy.
His lips now seemed incapable of joy.
My long hair concealed the barren spots.
His wife of forty years, whom I did not know,
had died in a crash of a '57 Chevrolet she loved.
He never had children. I have one daughter
who loves me even when I am so discomfited.
Roy would not step into my house, considering
my guests, acquaintances from my current life.
His promise not to let 50 years pass again
before we “get together” I took as a remark
that people make when strangers miss a joke:
men are not vessels for rebirthing memories.