Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Old Languages

Today's outdoor Idaho beauty, under a bright, clear sky!

House on a Red Cliff

There is no mirror in Mirissa

the sea is in the leaves
the waves are in the plants

old languages in the arms
of the casuarina pine

parampara, from
generation to generation

The flamboyant a grandfather planted
having lived through fire
lifts itself over the roof


the house an open net

where the night concentrates

on a breath
                   on a step
a thing or gesture
we cannot be attached to

The long, the short, the difficult minutes
of night

where even in darkness
there is no horizon without a tree

just a boat's light in the leaves

Last footstep before formlessness

Michael Ondaatje

the Hindu method of transmitting knowledge through a guru's answering a disciple's questions.

Handwriting; poems, Michael Ondaatje, 
Vintage; Random House, 2000, pages 67-68.

Every so often I return to the poems of Ondaatje, whose Running in the Family 
remains one of my all-time favorite memoirs. The different materials of the lives
of each poet often act, as here, to enrich the poems. Where did you come from??

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