Transcriptions in Dreaming for a Son Gone

                                                                       Molto grazioso

                           I

A green pottery jug on the maple dresser
poured light across a row of tattered music books.
In the garden, sprinkling water on the roses,
I could see the music everywhere,
eighth notes stalking pale pink asters.

Zinnias overcame the green jug's shyness,
the way order overcomes the sense of loss.
Rain rushing upwards on chimera wings—
clouds of dappled dromedary dreams dancing—
soared skyward, songs afloat like memory.

 

                           II

Odysseus imagined the sunshine and snow and moonsong
reflected ambiguity as a positive factor,
random element as essential form,
interrupted predictability as structural device—
vectors spinning lime-hued portents of silts.

If hours were less rigid, if geometry more flexible,
if every transcript of thought and hope
filled the heart with non-sequential yearning,
should we not cloak ourselves in the music's draping down,
flooding jugs and pitchers, lakes and birdbaths?

If Tenebrae exploded in crystal the color of life, the fragrance of dawning,
oh how the singers would prance like wild swans across the sumptuous skies,
trumpeting the cosmic heralded warning: the King is coming.

 

                           III

Long swatches of golden petals rose gracefully,
a potter's clay singing swaying bending lightly
starward through the twilight and the birth pangs,
still alive and malleable but determined to yield
no path but its own resilient discoveries.

What if Ulysses had lost Telemachus?  What if the father
had never said, my son, mine own Telemachus, and all Ithaca
were surfaced on a marble table in a room
where cello strings and viola chords filled
every green pottery jug in the universe with Neapolitan ninths?