Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Landscape

Tout était comme dans une image enfantine
Robert Desnos

it was all as if underwater: indigo
              white white sky the coralline
sagebrush spiky with hoarfrost a copy of
Bettleheim’s The Uses of Enchantment un-
opened on a maple nightstand
a chrome guitar’s rattle &
whine behind a glass door
              a green tinsel “Happy
Holidays” banner strung between streetlights

you can never set foot in the same room twice
a sea-change
              the implacably lonesome Sonoma
coast March 1988 a Winston cigarette in Virginia’s
Valentine’s Day rain 1986
              the creamsicle sunlight in
Malibu May 2000
today’s pale headlights at noon a
sea-change a
              bass clarinet intoning “Full
Fathom Five” meditative but stolid
hope against hope
                      6 of one
will you go home for Xmas
will you go
will you go home

plastic dinosaurs an overdue
credit card statement you placed a
red leather bookmark between the pages of
The Complete Lewis Carroll &
forgot it
              a naked cottonwood a silver
hay tarp like coming awake unsure where you are

Jack Hayes
© 2010


  1. Lovely. I have always liked that term, "sea-change"; it is conjures so many pictures in my mind's eye. (I think someone we both know is going to love that first line).


  2. Hi Kat & TFE

    Kat: Thanks--yes, it's a great term. I guess it shouldn't be hyphenated (properly, either two distinct words or one word)but I like it that way. I did change the first line slightly for clarity's sake!

    TFE: Thanks so much!

  3. A wonderful cascade of images and associations, John. As ever, a poem of captivating sights and sounds.

  4. I love the different lights that come out of this poem - streetlights, cigarette lights, headlights, and that gorgeous "creamsicle sunlight". And the white white sky. The poem really does feel like someone blinking awake out of an uneasy sleep.

  5. Hi HKatz: There are a lot of lights, aren't there--I wasn't really conscious of that. Glad you liked it--thanks!


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