Words for Wednesday

Picture found here.

Four Poems for Robin

BY GARY SNYDER

Siwashing it out once in Siuslaw Forest

I slept under   rhododendron   

All night   blossoms fell

Shivering on   a sheet of cardboard   

Feet stuck   in my pack

Hands deep   in my pockets   

Barely   able   to   sleep.

I remembered   when we were in school   

Sleeping together   in a big warm bed

We were   the youngest lovers

When we broke up   we were still nineteen.   

Now our   friends are married   

You teach   school back east   

I dont mind   living this way   

Green hills   the long blue beach   

But sometimes   sleeping in the open

I think back   when I had you.

A spring night in Shokoku-ji

Eight years ago this May

We walked under cherry blossoms   

At night in an orchard in Oregon.   

All that I wanted then

Is forgotten now, but you.

Here in the night

In a garden of the old capital

I feel the trembling ghost of Yugao   

I remember your cool body

Naked under a summer cotton dress.

An autumn morning in Shokoku-ji

Last night watching the Pleiades,   

Breath smoking in the moonlight,   

Bitter memory like vomit   

Choked my throat.

I unrolled a sleeping bag   

On mats on the porch   

Under thick autumn stars.   

In dream you appeared   

(Three times in nine years)   

Wild, cold, and accusing.   

I woke shamed and angry:

The pointless wars of the heart.   

Almost dawn. Venus and Jupiter.   

The first time I have   

Ever seen them close.

December at Yase

You said, that October,

In the tall dry grass by the orchard   

When you chose to be free,

“Again someday, maybe ten years.”

After college I saw you

One time. You were strange.   

And I was obsessed with a plan.

Now ten years and more have   

Gone by: I’ve always known

          where you were—

I might have gone to you   

Hoping to win your love back.   

You still are single.

I didn’t.

I thought I must make it alone. I   

Have done that.

Only in dream, like this dawn,   

Does the grave, awed intensity   

Of our young love

Return to my mind, to my flesh.

We had what the others   

All crave and seek for;

We left it behind at nineteen.

I feel ancient, as though I had   

Lived many lives.

And may never now know   

If I am a fool

Or have done what my   

       karma demands.

One response to “Words for Wednesday

  1. The poetry alone is worth the visit. Thank you

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