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The Garden of Catherine Blake

Cloud and earth converge like banners of geese,
both undulant, assimilable
each to the other.
Though I draw the horizon line
with the eye’s rule, without
question, they pass into each other.

Easter again, and this sod
with its sticks and rubbish,
its whirled grasses, as if a mower demon
had whetted his scythe to reveal our grave,
is even more of paradise than when
God rose
from the cave of the brain
and leapt to tongue like a petrel
astounding the grave academics!

I do not doubt the light behind the trees
secures a meaning and fastens it
to our despair. Or that the same slant light
skimming across the boards
where we talked the winter warm,
fanned by the wings of seraphs,
is all the undendurable fullness
of this sweet paradise.

From which, so suddenly, we rise
and join the air, exalting the matter
spread below in its circular struggle,
that was our home awhile.


David Rigsbee

David Rigsbee is the author of the forthcoming The Dissolving Island, a book of poems (BkMk Press), and coeditor of the forthcoming Invited Guest: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Southern Poetry (Virginia).


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 00-JAN 01

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