Saturday, September 2, 2017

tools in our hands in the clamorous


George Oppen

I dreamed myself of their people, I am of their people,   
I thought they watched me that I watched them   
that they
watched the sun and the clouds for the cities   
are no longer mine    image    images
of existence    (or song
of myself?)    and the roads for the light   
in the rear-view mirror is not   
death but the light
of other lives tho if I stumble on a rock I speak   
of rock if I am to say    anything      anything   
if I am to tell of myself    splendor
of the roads    secrecy
of paths for a word like a glass
sphere encloses   
the word opening   
and opening
myself and I am sick   
for a moment
with fear let the magic
infants speak we who have brought steel
and stone again   
and again
into the cities in that word blind
word must speak   
and speak the magic
infants’ speech driving   
northward the populist
north slowly in the sunrise the lapping
of shallow   
waters tongues
of the inlets glisten
like fur in the low tides all that
childhood envied the sounds   
of the ocean
over the flatlands poems piers foolhardy
structures and the lives the ingenious   
lives the winds
squall from the grazing   
ranches’ wandering
fences young workmen’s
loneliness on the structures has touched   
and touched the heavy tools    tools   
in our hands in the clamorous
country birth-
light savage
light of the landscape magic
page the magic   
infants speak