Stained Glass Elegies

-- Gregg Chadwick



                    April 1999


     A fitful sleep broken by dawn
     light clear as the air is cool
     yet ready to warm as the yellow
     hands of day rub themselves
     together—how tender the green
     leaves after the blossoms fall
     blown, blown flowers to stone
     the thin, fragile flower pedicels left
     the receptacle open and empty
     vacant blown to ground
     to lovers' hair, to macadam
     marked with new blood.
     What color guilty blood?
     Bile green? Dried dust of Mars?
     Our physicians are back to bloodletting—
     what has it cured?

The day knows, the day knows

     speaking a thousand tongues
     of daffodils and dandelions
     to give us each—whether bright red or oxidized—

the rich word of Persephone

     hair combed, curled, plaited, corn-rowed,
     aureole pink, wheat, cocoa

the song of Pan

     thigh tense, defined
     lips wet and pursed to the pipe

the genius of blue sky gathering whispers

     of water to cotton balls or
     wet woven cloth.

Woe or blessing?

     How does the scale tip
     for the thousand sunbeams shed
     just now this instant?
     Unfathomable horror, unimaginable delight.
     A dozen cameras' hypnotism in which to catch ourselves.

No, let the light fall. Let the light fall

      unaided, unshaded, unevaded
     warm or blinding, calm or fevered
     glancing about unto dusk.

May our hands stay for the moment's light.

                                --Kent Chadwick






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