Conrad Geller, a native Bostonian, now lives in Northern Virginia.
Phantom skaters in the park
turn, and glide, and never fall,
faces clouded, figures dark.
They are phantoms, after all.
Turn and glide with awful grace,
leave no measure, make no sound,
out of moment, out of place
all the earthly year around.
Phantom skaters on the lake,
known by no one else but me,
making figures for my sake,
On the morning of the final day he woke
as usual. The rain had stopped. It was
already hot, too hot even for June.
Heft of his body, sameness of himself
pricked him to understand, it was no dream.
At the final hour, that afternoon, he wept
because a bird looked in and fled. Business
everywhere, but for him no occupation,
only the strict accounting of the breath,
the uneventful drip of consequence.
At the final minute he remembered
all he had neglected to regret,
cruelties committed, debts denied,
faces waiting for him to say a word.
He knew the word, but he had never spoken.
In the final moment, after this long day's durance,
a surge of joy he never knew before,
flashes of light, uncanny harmonies
filled all of space, space infinite,
as he merged triumphantly with nothingness.
This morning of grace a woodpecker, in the pre-dawn dark,
sounded out from my neighbor's tree
to look for something moving under the bark.
I don't know whether creatures like that are making
announcements, or only digging for a grub,
not choosing Buddha or Beelzebub,
But anything fat and tasty for the taking.
It's Easter, and this raucous bird
gives counsel: Make your need
your message. That may sometimes lead
to mystic opportunities to be heard.
Drought in Massachusetts
Small rains darken the crusted ground,
make fragrant the wisteria,
but the deep roots, unfed, still languish.
A hot sun draws geometry
on dry mud in the reservoirs,
square, trapezoid, acre on acre.
A few seagulls stick around in hope.
I saw you on the street, in white,
and hope was fragrant, but the heart,
not fed by recognition, languished.
The logic of our separation
drew infinite lines that never meet.
Mist is not shower, shower is not flood.
Worst of all, water is not blood.