Monday, August 07, 2006

The Layers
Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

The 'Kan EWA


the psycho therapist said...

Well! I post this on my birthday and now you come along and shamelessly share it with nothing so much as a by your leave.

It is strikingly obvious your turning yet another year older has quickened that short-term memory loss...and so rapidly, too. Pity.
Not to worry, your secrets are safe with me. (winkity wink wink)

jb3ll3 said...

I don't remember that! wow!

jb3ll3 said...

okay, what are you going post for GLib's birthday? quite time we started synchronizing....

Ana Martin said...

how shall the heart be reconcilled to the feast of losses?

That's great.

the psycho therapist said...

My post is standing at the ready. I am, I swear to god, sitting here waiting another 20 minutes (until midnight) to post the dang thang. I do adore him. That I am doing this speaks loudly.

Of course, if you have something additional in mind, I'm open to hearing about it. You do realize this is SEX WEEK on the ontological thermals so festivities must align least in The Tao According To Wendy, the only Universe over which I exact any control.

curtcon said...

And two days before her birthday, the therapist had this same poem sent to her by me.

I see so vivid a picture of a scavenger angels wheeling over the abandoned camp-sites.

jb3ll3 said...

hmmmm! Therapist never told me that; just wanted to dipstick the estrogen to see how low I was. Thanks, Curt. I LOVE Stanley Kunitz. I love you, too. (the imagry is just tdf, isn't it?)