The wren is also known as kuningilin or “kinglet” in Old High German. ~ Wikipedia
What do I know of lark or wren,
of the tiny bird who folded himself
even smaller to hide in an eagle’s
plumage and then broke free, cresting
the air to win the kinglet’s crown?
And in another story, thirty birds
looking for the transcendent one
saw only themselves in the clearing.
But what do I know of the hoopoe,
of the nightingale that lovers love;
of the parrot repeating what it hears,
its one trick till curtain call?
The peacock brushes soft earth
with indigo and emerald. Which
of them will ferry honeybee
or cricket across seven valleys?
At dusk when I hear plucked, insistent
strings in the garden, I almost remember
all their names: yearning and love,
bewilderment, detachment, selflessness,
oblivion… What signpost heralds
the last crossing? I only know
I’ll want to see our reflections
rinsed in that bit of broken
mirror passing for a lake.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Landscape, with Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
- El Sagrado Corazon
- Three (More) Improvisations
- The Gift
- Goldfinch in the Garden
- What Cannot Eat
- Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser
- Petition to Fullness
- Heart you Want to Lead in from the Cold
- Unending Lyric
- Dear modest four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath
- Ode to the Pedicure Place at the Mall
- Letter to Attention
- Landscape, with Incipient Questions
- Letter to Stone
- Milagrito: Eye of the Raven
- What You Don’t Always See
- Landscape, with Variations in Allegory
- Going to the Acupuncturist in the Market
- Migrant Letters
- The Road of Imperfect Attentions
- In the Country of Lost Hours
- Morning Lesson
- Song of the Seamstress’s Daughter
- Landscape, with Construction Worker, Ants, and Gull
- End Times
- Dream Landscape, with Ray-bans and Leyte Landing
- Pantoum, with Spiderweb and Raindrops
- Assassin’s Wake
- Private: Each Question is Always the Same Question
- Shroud Villanelle
- Dear Annie Oakley,
- Landscape, with Red Omens
- Late Summer Landscape, with Twilight and Daughters
- Ghazal of Unattainable Silence
- Distance, Then
- Noon Prayer
- In the Convent of Perpetual Adoration
- State of Emergency
- Storm Warning
- Goodbye, Irene
- The Lovers
- Dream of the Four Directions
- Lost Lyric
- Dear recklessness, dear jeweled
- Bearing Fire
6 Replies to “Landscape, with Variations in Allegory”
I don’t know how you keep this up, day after day, Luisa, but I’m enjoying the sequence. You have a distinctive way with imagery and metaphor.
As I said in an earlier email, I love your poems, and the idea of having all these come out of your daily engagement with the poetic form. The lines are all tensile. They make me seriously realize how poetry indeed yields to discipline. I also love the tone…how you’ve managed to sustain its precision and grace. Thanks a lot. I’m learning a lot from this feat of yours.
Dinah, Larry, thanks for posting comments here. I too am learning so much from this daily practice! That’s what gives me a high :)
Tensile, yes. Good word!
Crossing this lake at sundown, we will see them
again perched on willows and elms along the banks
where no one has yet thought of putting up signposts:
there is no need for them here, nobody will return.
The sweet larks of love and yearning warble quietly,
bewildered and detached owls are soundlessly glum;
but are there birds marked Selflessness? Oblivion?
This passing allegory is not lost on us who must leave.
This journey through narrow trails that branch out
elsewhere before we reach familiar resting places
is all that we really have while we struggle here—
Is there a warm hut ahead? Can we stay longer there?
At that final crossing, before we get to the other side,
will this lake show a reflection of where we’re going?
—Albert B. Casuga
“Signposts” is also posted at: http://albertbcasuga.blogspot.com/2011/08/signposts.html