BY THE TIME YOU WAKE UP, YOUR HAIR WILL BE WHITE

Standard

…you will own the biblical hoary head.  Your
tree will know how oddly a branch may grow to
sapless, brittle treachery.  Fear alone will
threaten to break it.

Most of those who loved you are dead.  Their absence
shadows, haunts remembering.  No one living
slows to listen really or hear your story.
If you should tell it.

Breath of the morning, beautiful new forgiveness,
not a thought to limit or change or end it–
noon afire with promises, now a rush to
flushingly spend it–

all will come to evening.  You are not of
your time; you are your time.  A shutter
opens, closes, light on a nervous mothwing
fluttering briefly.

BY THE TIME YOU…

11 responses »

  1. I keep rereading. This morning it’s the craftwork I’ve noticed: the regular lines, trochees and feminine endings, plus the near-repetitions and cross rhymes. The work is invisible at first, but the inner ear picks up that firm foundation, trusts it, and keeps pulling the mind back to read again.

  2. You’ve got me pondering, John. Maybe there’s something about the sapphic stanza in English verse which creates a sense of not quite arriving, once and for all, so that one wants to retrace the itinerary after all those trochees and dactyls. Maybe that’s why I happened into this form for this particular poem. Your mention of the inner ear ( I realize you are not speaking of stirrups and anvils) is also productive. I keep discovering how few about me can hear what they read.
    Is this a growing trend with the decline of interest in real books and the anaesthetictizing rise of rap?
    Now I’m getting into the weeds. Thank you so much for what you ”ve said.

  3. I’m pondering away here, thinking about your words…you are your time…. I’m working on staying in the now as my summer project. A great meditative poem ..Thich would love it! Eileen

  4. Greetings, Eileen. Lots of meditation going on here, too. August is coming–the cruelest month–but there are those tickets for the Ogunquit Playhouse….Hope all is well in East Weymouth…
    A bientot!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s