red paper lanternsno truer words were ever spokenred paper lanterns by sumarlegur
than the ones we have forgotten.
a single island of light
keeps the street afloat, awake,
a puddle of stars between my limbs
and the growing dark; it does not flicker.
as I sit on the balcony and write,
I can feel my grandfather's hand
carefully placed over my own,
his fingertips splitting the air
into strands of a single body of wind.
and as I write grandfather,
I can picture the light of his smile,
his hands ripe with promises
of stardust and spring,
spring spring spring;
and even though
there are oceans of hail and smoke
standing between us, it is easy to imagine his eyes
glistening at the thought of his grandson thinking of him,
writing of him, remembering him.
grandfather, to you I offer
all of what I have been blessed to touch:
blossoms shrugging into shape,
trees prying their chests open
like proud mothers, the love of a grandson
who hopes to one day be as loved as you were,
and the sun in a mouthful of words.
tethera bird's cagetether by sumarlegur
with its doors snapped out of their hinges.
this is what they call a heart.
the men set sail;
they will be gone for months,
they will be gone forever,
they will be gone.
the women grieve,
their flesh now a secret,
and pass the burden of adulthood
onto their children's children,
whom will not remember
the meaning of infancy
nor pass it on to their offspring,
a lost word among so many others.
they now lean their frail figures
out the open windows of their rooms,
squinting past the heavy rains
to decipher fate, to unweave it.
the wind in their hair
lover: we are strangers to this.
the children come to the river bank
to taste its fish, to taste life;
they speak in tongues.
the mothers do not understand,
and nod as they push them under
they have long ago
flown into themselves,
barren and uncertain.
but they are listening,
facing the growing grey
of their once silky hair alone
and with open hands, waiting.
no one will come.
The InspectionAbove us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.The Inspection by sumarlegur
- Ted Kooser
The guests have now arrived
at my front neighbor's door,
In the distance, and ripe with light,
the farmers swing their lanterns
to the West, and welcome moths
by the hundreds;
the wind reminds them of life.
Through the naked living room window,
I can see her brushing rivers of dust
from her family photographs in a hurry,
pretending that her husband
is not just a shadow
forever caressing her face
as she sleeps.
She looks straight at me and stops,
her eyes like two suddenly lit stars
in the cracked highways of her face,
and for a moment, a decade of loss
is both hers and mine.
What is it about fear
that makes you do this to yourself?
What is it about fear
when I have lived in front of you
for years and refuse to remember
the syllables of your name?
But today you are alone,
and it is your children's
fear of loss that pushes you away
in the end, that dark wing of a gesture,
the constant hum in your ear
the blindthe gardensthe blind by sumarlegur
stretch their green arms toward the fields
like a river passing the torch
to the great blue of the ocean.
steady now, the hyacinths lean north
like an army of men, listening
to a young boy and girl speaking of love
as if they have found some sort of treasure.
it is the first day of spring to them:
the flowers stand, salute the sky,
and blossom as if undressing,
vulnerable but stern.
and as the blind dream
of what they have never seen, you dream
of what you have never allowed yourself to see.