Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21st -- National Poetry Month --Robert Bly

Mourning Pablo Neruda

Water is practical,
in August, water
into the buckets
I carry
to the young willow trees
whose leaves
have been eaten off
by grasshoppers.
Or this jar of water
that lies
next to me
on the carseat
as I drive to my shack.
When I look down,
the seat all around the jar
is dark,
for water doesn’t intend
to give,
it gives anyway,

and the jar of water
lies there quivering
as I drive
through a countryside
of granite quarries,
stones soon
to be shaped
into blocks for the dead,
the only thing
they have left
that is theirs.

For the dead remain
inside us, as water
in granite-
hardly at all-
for their job is to go away,
and not come back,
even when we ask them.
But water comes
to us,
it doesn’t care
about us, it goes
around us, on the way
to the Minnesota River,
to the Mississippi,
to the Gulf,
always closer
to where
it has to be.
No one lays flowers
on the grave
of water,
for it is not
it is gone.

-Robert Bly (1926- )

Bly's official web site

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