Sunday, April 04, 2004

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Vacation

(apologies - deep - to Wallace Stevens)

I
In the hurricane of days,
the only stillness,
vacation.

II
I was of three minds,
seeking solace,
solitude, exuberance.

III
My clothing whirled in the washing machine.
Even small things have color and movement.

IV
A book and a couch
are enough.
A book and a couch and a cat
are more.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.


(that one is just too beautiful to play with)

VI
The puppeteer reached
gloved hands over another's arms
to the feet of the feather-haired boy,
drew his legs taut, then let them buckle.
To create human movement,
she danced.

VII
O you people of the business world,
How do you feel the seasons change?
Do you not sense May's surge of warmth,
the languorous days of early August,
the gathering urgency, the clean smell of September?

VIII
I know patient questions,
And engaging, educational lessons;
But I know, too,
That vacation is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the emptiness came between us,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
Waking to sunlight,
birds in the alley,
a cup of tea,
modest rituals.

XI
Going home to New England
on MetroNorth
watching the windows fill
with trees, looking
for a little peace
this Easter, breathing in
and out.

XII
I am taking the train south.
Vacation must be ending.

XIII
Arching its back, stretching each leg languidly
into the expanse of days, morning
lasted into afternoon and afternoon into evening.
After a week, time realigns itself,
ready to go back.

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