Saturday, April 05, 2008

#5 Tribute


XANADU

I see you everywhere except in dreams
--Karl Shapiro



Someday this poem will be
a memory, like
the ten dollars you got
winning the spelling bee, like
the sweet smell of the tobacco pouch
in your grandfather's pocket,
the grandfather you adored, how
the gold string that tied it vanished
like a coin drawn into a magician's sleeve
amazing the child who watched,
who was you, the child burned
by illusions that turned into dreams,
the child, awake now
to the ruin of old age, but you
cannot heal her, you cannot cry.
You know no words of comfort.
You pronounce her dead
and move to a far country,
sunless, without air.


(Grandpa and me, ca 1942) Xanadu,according to Coleridge, was a vision in a dream, a fragment, a sunny dome built in air, a savage place holy and enchanted, where "the sacred rived ran down to a sunless sea."

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7 comments:

January said...

What a smart poem. And the last three lines are amzing.

How are you doing on day 5 of NaPoWriMo?

Pam said...

I am always so impressed with your writing, the rhythm and depth of it always pull me in and light up my imagination.

pepektheassassin said...

Thanks, both of you! On day 5 I am hobbling around like Quasimodo with a sore back, mostly laying around hoping it will be better by Monday.

+(

pepektheassassin said...

My grandpa was a sheriff, and he wore a silver star. My brother remembered hearing gun shots at night, often, and being fearful that our grandpa might be hurt--he was supposed to have been in some kind of running battle with someone (as a little boy, no one ever told him any details).

The Old West lived in Red Mountain in those days. Outlaws and saloons and wild, wild women....

Jo said...

wow, I always find such substance in your writing, and always so beautifully expressed. Very well done.

Jo said...

Loved the pic of you and your Grandpa! Your poem full of wonderful images,a sad ending though! Hey I did catch your grandchildren on your gallery post, they are beautiful. :)

pepektheassassin said...

Thank you! Yes, indeed, those are my grandchildren, minus the two from Minnesota. And did you catch the sushi!!!!