Friday, January 28, 2011

Ghazal 4/24

the willow’s limbs fidget in an April breeze from the west
& the sun is nonetheless blind white in implacable blue

so I have to ask why the dead & the lost come to visit
as I wander the night away in an old house up a staircase

a maple bannister a light in a cut glass fixture a cold white
light—the bedsheets creased & wrinkled into alphabets &

so I have to ask why we have travelled so far from the white white
magnolia blooms of another April & the granite statue of Christ loom-

ing at Swannanoa lugubrious & floating on another wind rattling
with laughter “like dice shook” I said—the breeze agitating the willow

voicelessly—in a supermarket parking lot far over the hills & the
rolling gnarl of bitterbrush & the rudbeckia’s buttery eruption—

we were going our separate ways & there was eye contact
unsettling across the blue cigarette smoke years the curtains carried

across a street to a house as dark as spruce trees en-
circling a Vermont backyard in an August green

dusk—the lost & the dead come turning their faces into the
breeze—the sharp white ripples across the wind-stirred pond

Jack Hayes
© 2010


  1. I like the interjections of the poet's voice, ""like dice shook", I said" and always the imagery is right there in my head - almost palpable - the buttery rudbeckia, the alphabet sheets, the blue cigarette smoke.

    I like this one very much, John.


  2. So many good things...'the rudbeckia’s buttery eruption—'...Nice!!

  3. Hi Kat & TFE

    Kat: As you may recall, "like dice shook" recurs in the book. It's a quote from my old (1986) poem, "Emily Moon," also written for the same woman this book was dedicated to. Glad you like it!

    TFE: Thanks! Rudbeckia really does erupt in hihg spring here--a profusion of yellow in the rangeland.