History, a bed of ashes stirred so embers catch fire and take on wind to roar into myth.
If there are years we do not know it is the fault of those upon whom we thrust blame.
We could call them family but they shift their eyes away if we do so that we walk off
confused the day is no longer than the night and the moon is the same shape as the sun.
Once there was the story and the end of everything was there as well as its beginning.
You can hear the panther if you stay awake so long the falling stars strike these hills.
I will tell you how to listen and how to see. You must bring thought to a fine point.
And there you are. The old books are dog-eared, covers torn, a slurry of spilled spots
marking pages never read except between heaves of bodies to their feet and on to do
the rest of a day’s work. There is the bridle of the mare who pulled the plow that dug
the dirt deep and threw it on its green sides, revealing the dark loam’s nest of worms.
Here are the cast-off clothes left behind in the rush to get away before armies arrived.
There are also baby clothes neatly packed away in small trunks, diminutive coffins.
All that remains is worth not a tear or cry of rage and I can tell you I was among them,
the unhappy survivors with their eyes burning from the smoke and getting set to go
elsewhere, wherever men were not so afraid of their feelings and did not need to kill.
Those who left first are our betrayers. They would be home by now. They live here.
They hide but you can hear them rustling in the leaves trying to keep track of our feet
moving, moving, always moving even though they get nowhere, they have everywhere
to go, the wild sounds echo from one valley to another and all we have is on our backs.
(27 October 2010)