While the earth remains
While earth remains, seedtime and harvest-time, cold and heat,
Summer and winter, day and night shall not cease.
- Genesis 8:22 (God’s promise after the flood)
Let there always be taxol and chamomile,
abnormal pap smears and little shirts
with red snaps. Let there be trout with ginger
and green tea in the evening.
Let there be months with nothing
but mac and cheese.
Let there be days when waking
is a heavy weight, a thickness
breathed in. Let there be weeks
together like this, weeks of sourness,
then one clean dawn in frost, the lawn smoking.
Let there be ticks in the saskatoons.
The one who picked saskatoons with me
one summer far from either of our lives
writes to say she cannot write or speak.
Let there be a lamp for her,
lasting oil, a little salt. Blessings.
Equinox today, the fall is coming.
Juniper dusty blue with berry, sumac
blushing. The tattered cherry
blooms again, a few bright blossoms.
Is that hope or hopelessness? The fruit
will never set. The flocks grow restless.
On this day the year is hinged
like a door. Let there always be
the gates of morning, the gates of evening.
Wheels. All creatures walking.
Let every thing take its right name:
Rice and paper, salt and beans. Let dust
film everything. Oh Lord, what comes
between us? Dust and thirst,
a lack of patience. Shyness,
there’s skin at least, a secret
I don’t know I’m keeping. What name
does it have? Shame. Eden
While the earth remains let there be sparseness,
winter with one hawk and no hiding.
Let there be Junes jam-packed, chock-a-bloc, thick
with berries. Let all the graves have names.
Let us pray indifferently, pray in fear
and whispers, let us pray and be blasted
open. Let there be garlic and chilli,
and cream for the coffee, the salty
and sour, the sweet and the bitter, the desperate
and dappled, the morning
and evening, the over
and over, the first day.
from the book Seal up the Thunder
(One of my favorite poems of my own, for the first day of fall. My poetry is published as Erin Noteboom.)