Friday, May 6, 2011


Take me back: I tell you I have come too far/ from myself. A pebble drops into a well/ but I cannot hear its thunk to let me know/ it has come to rest… /And my heart/ after all remains a sieve— Come sorrow; come love;/ come mutable chord and struck descant of things.---Luisa A. Igloria, “Landscape with Carillon”, Via Negativa, 05-06-11
How far have you gone from all that you were,
little chipped stone from a hidden tributary,
little pebble that has yet to reach the bottom
of the well to hear its thunk and come to rest?
How far, indeed, that you must finally beg
to be taken home? Where, what place, what
troubled spaces have you been all these years?
Bitter years, you say almost in descant candor.
Take you home? But where do you belong?
If I knew, if I could follow that map long
faded in your doleful heart that has dogged
every fickle chord from every pied piper—
If I could find every pied-a-terre you’ve been
that I might collect the shattered life pieces
left of your gypsy heart so I could remould
them to our heart’s desire, I would. I will.
Take you home. Prop you up, start you up
once again from whence you came, where
your heart is not merely a sieve for sorrow
or pain, but where it is a fortress of care.
Trek back to the church belfry and be the deft
hands of the carillonneur you wished you were
when you were young, malleable, and oh, so free
to dream, to laugh, to thumb your little nose
at the carousing lads vaulting over rooftops
to call your name, to sing your name like
perching sparrows lined on some errant wires
at sunset warbling: sweet-sweet, sweet-sweet!
Take me back. Take me back. And we will retrace
those letters carved on some saplings grown tall
beyond our reach, and sing with carillon clangor
those old evening songs, brave songs, love songs.
We will outdo the bellchoir master on the belfry,
ring them all, sing them all, hum them all until
sundown overtakes us and we hold our tremulous
voices like stuttered promises of coming home.
—Albert B. Casuga

Collaborative Poem Prompts: Luisa A. Igloria's "Like a Warbler" and "Landscape with Carillon", posted in Via Negativa, 05-05-11 and 05-06-11 and

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