29 August 2011

You, Therefore, a poem by Reginald Shepherd

Copyright not mine!

—for Robert Philen

You are like me, you will die too, but not today:
you, incommensurate, therefore the hours shine:
if I say to you “To you I say,” you have not been
set to music, or broadcast live on the ghost
radio, may never be an oil painting or
Old Master’s charcoal sketch: you are
a concordance of person, number, voice,
and place, strawberries spread through your name
as if it were budding shrubs, how you remind me
of some spring, the waters as cool and clear
(late rain clings to your leaves, shaken by light wind),
which is where you occur in grassy moonlight:
and you are a lily, and aster, white trillium
or viburnum, by all rights mine, white star
in the meadow sky, the snow still arriving
from its earthwards journeys, here where there is
no snow (I dreamed the snow was you,
where there was snow), you are my right,
have come to be my night (your body takes on
the dimensions of sleep, the shape of sleep
becomes you): and you fall from the sky
with several flowers, words spill from your mouth
in waves, your lips taste like the sea, salt-sweet (trees
and seas have flown away, I call it
loving you): home is nowhere, therefore you,
a kind of dwell and welcome, song after all,
and free of any eden we can name.

—Reginald Shepherd


Kay said...

A beautiful, amazing poem. Too young to die. Sad.

Rethabile said...

Kay, I kicked me own arse for discovering reginald's poetry a few months only before he passed away. The good news is that the words stay.

Lyrically speaking said...

yes, young and talented, i'm sure his poetry will live on, great dedication

Rethabile said...

Salut, ma soeur.

Great witer. Let his words live.

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