February 1st, 2010


Pantoum for an abandoned car lot

We built the holy place by accident:
uprooted trees and planted streetlights high
on winged pillars, proud against the night.
We had no darkness there, no memories

of tree roots or street plants. Lighted high,
each glowing surface promised future glory.
We had no darkness there, no memories,
no vision but the self, reflected in

each glowing surface. Promised future glory,
we found the latest models, trimmed with chrome,
but no vision. In the self-reflected
mirror nothing lasted, nothing that

we found. The latest models trimmed with chrome
grew old, stopped moving, finally vanished in
that mirror. Nothing lasted, nothing.


The unlit streetlight stands, a monolith
grown finally old. Moving stops, vanishes
in memory--the way things might have been,
unlit by streetlights: a monolith stands
strong guardian to mark the place renewed

in memory, the Way. Things might yet be
redeemable: here there are the traces of
strong guardians. To mark this place renews
an ancient blessing on the fallow land.

Here, there, the traces are redeemable, of
the face those builders carved. They saw deep, knew
the ancient blessing: on fallow lands
they weighed their careful steps and laid no stone.

Those builders saw the face they knew carved deep
on winged pillars. Proud against the night,
they weighed their careful steps, and laid no stone
by accident. They built the holy place.

(An old poem of mine, for the Brigid tradition started by Reya and continued by
Deborah Oak)