Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Broken Code

Now that the daylight dies away,
By all thy grace and love,
Thee, Maker of the world, we pray
To watch our bed above.
Let dreams depart and phantoms fly,
The offspring of the night,
Keep us, like shrines, beneath thine eye,
Pure in our foe’s despite.
                                       Universalis Hymn

Late night,
after the echo of what was 
spoken and argued 
had settled 
into the mortars of sleep,

my brother and I would fall 
out our windows
onto the heavy dew 
and glinting blades of grass
like birds from a mangled nest 
in a tossing tree.

We would run through yards 
 and clenching shadows-- 
 holding up our bright- 
white butterfly nets 
into the intangibility
of the deep-
blue air-- 
luminous torches
parading the opening 
of our strange, nocturnal 

We would run to separate hill tops of our rolling lane,
across the bricks of summer heat, 
each standing alone
against the distance between us, 
against the rules and eerie-empty streets  
 as we began our encrypted 

waving our nets once for “a” 
twice for “b” and so on, 
pausing between letters, 
spelling out a mute word 
into the absconding hour;
between the funnels of light 
and dark pavements of our fear;
 beneath a Bull, a Queen, 
Orion’s belt and club, 
beneath the constellation’s conspiracy, 

beneath our galaxy glittering,
like eyes of the dead 
sifting over us
light from stardust  
all the same: 
each on a separate hill, 
signing into the nests of darkness
and childhood, 
a broken code 
of loneliness 
and loss--
of love 
and uncomprehending.

1 comment:

  1. Cindy, this piece is certainly different from your broader collection. I absolutely love the second stanza - each time I read it I see the picture you describe vividly and in sharp relief. You do a fine job of controlling, funneling, what could be an unweilding topic into a clear design with edges and borders. It is an excellent piece. I particularly enjoy the echo of "nests" in the final stanza to the "nest" in the second. Your time and effort in the piece is obvious. Bravo!