Monday, May 23, 2011

Sad but also...

I like putting poetry up here now and again, because it serves as a reminder/excuse to read it. This is a lovely and melancholy little study.

Psalm and Lament
Hialeah, Florida
in memory of my mother (1897-1974)

The clocks are sorry, the clocks are very sad.
One stops, one goes on striking the wrong hours.

And the grass burns terribly in the sun,
The grass turns yellow secretly at the roots.

Now suddenly the yard chairs look empty. the sky looks empty,
The sky looks vast and empty.

Out on Red Road the traffic continues; everything continues.
And I think that for the first time I understand

The beautiful ordinary light of this patio
And even perhaps the dark rich earth of a heart.

(The bedclothes, they say, had been pulled down.
I will not describe it. I do not want to describe it.

No, but the sheets were drenched and twisted.
They were the very handkerchief of grief.)

Let summer come now with its schoolboy trumpets and fountains.
But the years are gone. The years are finally over.

And there is only
This long desolation of flower-bordered sidewalks

That runs to the coner, turns, and goes on,
That disappears and goes on

Into the black oblivion of a neighborhood and a world
Without billboards or yesterdays.

Sometimes a sad mood comes and waters the roof tiles.
But the years are gone. There are no more years.

~~~Donald Justice~~~


susan said...

Melancholy is a beautiful word that no other in English expresses quite so well. It's like describing a heart both full and empty at the same time.

Ben said...

You're absolutely right. It's one of our many borrowings from Greek, but the sounds are perfect for what we mean by it.