My bones

Let my bones be better traveled after flesh has attended

and hindered.

Let them rattle on a string around the neck of creatures,

bold and roaming,

with beast hair, polished stones and a herbaceous plait;

charms healing.

Let my ribs protrude at a jaunty angle from plains, barren

and desiccated;

let them, though broken and hollowed, pick sonatas from hot

meandering winds

and with stealth and over-the-shoulder looks let the locals

gather to listen.

Let my femur be a gnaw bone for a she-wolf full bellied

and contented;

let her trot her bouncing-rear gait, muzzle lowered, wary

eyes intent,

to her suckling pups to share; accepting yelp-thanks with

long tongue caresses.

Let my skull be a prop held and caressed by sweaty hands

by those possessed;

let them hold my diminished, polished visage and declare,

“Alas, poor poet..”

and recite true the words of those aiming to discern order

from disorder.

Let a part of my bones be cast to burn and given to those

that love me;

let them with a final sigh of assent puff the dust leeward from

cupped palms

onto a receding tide to a current returning with no haste

to tropical shores.

Let me push my body bones up from this chair, away from

this screen;

let me walk across the room to the window and the scene

passing unaware,

and pressing against sun warmed panes leave hand prints;

flesh intact.

February 2002

18 comments

  1. I had to read this a few times, just to savour all the images and feelings it provokes.
    Fantastic work, really amazing how you get that sense of time here – we travel through centuries and then return at the end to the man at the window, a journey both breathtaking and yet awesomely simple.
    At risk of hyperbole, you are such a *brilliant* poet, Leo, and a real inspiration to me – thank you. πŸ™‚

  2. I love this poem, Leo. Just love it. There is a nobility, even a form of omniscience in the speaker’s kindness that I just adore. And the vision you offer is so plural. . . which I think I love just as much, maybe even more.

    This is probably my favorite part:

    let them hold my diminished, polished visage and declare,

    β€œAlas, poor poet..”

  3. Oh, my God, Leo. My little scribbling reminded you of THIS? This is BEAUTIFUL, and true, and so resonates with a truth hard to vocalize but felt in the solar plexus. I have to reblog this.

    • Thank you, Susan, again! Do not belittle your “little scribbling”; I’ll often read some of your lines and wonder how in the heck you come up with some of the images especially as much as you produce! I work on some of my stuff for days or months and can not equal the quality of some of the poems you write. You are very inspirational to a lot of people! And thanks for reblogging! Leo

      • Oh, thank you, Leo. Really appreciate that…I do think my muse is still making up for 17 years of silence–this has to slow down at some point. Pre-block, I would write something like 1-3 poems a month, and was happy to call myself a poet then. Have no idea what to call myself now–It is kind of like divine possession, and has been since April.

      • I’ve often berated myself, unsucessfully, for my lack of the kind of “passion” that would permit me to produce in an abundance, but we are what we are. I’ve lately come to accept that!. Leo

      • Leo–I love what you produce, when you produce it. Passion has nothing to do with what I am producing–although I do love it passionately–it is an insistent whisper between the ears, demanding to be expressed.

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