From What Is Left Behind

Cynthia Morgan, "The Tune Changed Much Too Slowly for Her,"
Installation, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois

Where people lived no longer
a house blossomed in remoteness
walled on three sides
face open to the world.

As winter closed
the northern yard sang with budding limbs
and a ballet of mosquito hawks.
New roots periscoped
through moss flagstone and agate.
From there we saw

beneath the ceiling
a dress billowing    bodiless
rotating as if it hung from a planet
anchored not by physics
but memory
with crickets stitched in its seams.

On the oak mantel
a family in photographs pitched in vines.
Near French doors
a pair of boots fused to the splintered floor.
Green bottles veiled in web
stacked in the cellar
the wine returned to vapor.
Facing the drowning sun
a picture window painted by sea snails
arranged in the notes of a hymn.

Home sick home
mortised by tenons of teeth.
Home sick home
where crying only escaped
if it was quicker than light.



Poems by John Waldman:

The Water Month
The Heat
Of Madrid
The Lake on the Border
The Woman in the Hat
The Jewelry Box
The Corner
Huber's Tavern
The House in the Town
From the Home of Furious Wonder
From What Is Left Behind
The Den of Finitude
The Story of a Mountain

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets