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Last Light

for Emma Jean (“And they saved each other every day.”)

How, when my emerald voices pray
In the crystal heart, and the bright chimes
Sound along the shoals of day,
Shall I not search among the stones
For your mist-shadowed silent lips,
And listen in the vaults of bones
For those wave-shattered psalms of seas
That promise me , oh my bright shade,
The flame that bends my soul to thee?

For is not love that trace of flame,
That sign seen far in silhouette
Between the edge of stars and earth,
In that place where winds on water step?
And if I read in heaven pale
These ancient signs, these lines on slate
That in translation, told our tale
As if our tale was marked on bone
Banked in halls of bronze and stone,
Would you believe those faded marks
No man can read or waking see?
Would you emerge from stone to say
Our history begins today?

I speak, I know, I know, at slant
And seldom cleave the circle straight,
But your geometries enchant
And I stand frozen at your gate.
Yet still I sense our centers touch
As deep as senses hope to know
In that rose room that hovers high
Above all memory of snow.

And so above the ocean I,
Released from arms and earth entire,
Relive within this room of steel
The ashen memory of your fire,
That in such mansions once I slept,
Most fortunate of all blessed men,
And breathed your breath,
Embraced your heart,
That my stilled heart might beat again.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Leslie February 14, 2018, 7:26 PM

    Oh, to be so loved.

  • Teri Pittman February 14, 2018, 7:58 PM

    Reminds me of this from Richard Brautigan:

    if i should die before you do
    you wake up
    from death,
    you will find yourself
    in my arms,
    I will be
    kissing you,
    will be crying

  • Roy Lofquist February 15, 2018, 7:06 AM

    Gerard, you have made an old man cry. For the longest time I cried every day but the grief, as it will, retreated to a small black hole, glimpsed only fleetingly at odd moments. As it did today.

  • Howard Nelson February 15, 2018, 9:40 AM

    Nice, nice.
    “Yet still I sense our centers touch
    As deep as senses hope to know

    Most fortunate of all blessed men,
    And breathed your breath,
    Embraced your heart,
    That my stilled heart might beat again.”

  • steve walsh February 16, 2018, 7:19 AM

    VANDERLEUN: are you the author? This is very, very moving.

  • Vanderleun February 16, 2018, 8:19 AM

    I am. Thank you for your kind words.

  • jwm February 15, 2019, 4:58 AM

    Holy cow, Gerard.
    I spent no small amount of time trying to find a response to yesterday’s poem. It left me without words. This one, too.
    The muse is strong in you.


  • jd February 15, 2019, 6:28 AM

    The graphic is beautiful too, a perfect match.

  • Everyman February 15, 2019, 9:02 AM

    Beautiful, my friend.

  • karren February 15, 2019, 10:20 AM

    I now have inspiration for my own poetry, and am so glad that I’ve hesitated to share, in my local poetry group, the inferior drivel I’ve managed so far.

    How magical, and beautiful your words.

  • Terry February 15, 2019, 4:55 PM

    Beautiful- I have sympathy for people who have never experienced true Love, in their lives. I have and am forever strengthened by the pure joy.

  • SteveC February 15, 2019, 7:10 PM

    One of the greatest expressions of love is wishing that the true love of your life dies before you do, awakening in a twinkling of an eye in the presence of God, so they will not be left alone here, grieving their loss of you, suffering alone, eventually dying alone. Let that be my fate, not that of my wife.

    But out of selfishness, Gerard, I hope to die before you, as I don’t want to go on for months or years without being able to read your incredible poetry and other writings.