June 05, 2007

Poetry and Music

He hoists ungrateful bricks up decorative ladders
too dainty for the weight.
Over millennia, his fathers and mothers
molded bricks into arabesques,
Grecian statues, free-form improvisations.
He knows the rules, those tacky globs
of mortar, but the secret of melting bricks
is something no one can teach or learn.
He looks at his hands. He looks at the bricks.
Dull red, unpliable, they look
defiantly like what they mean.

She tries to dam the stream using only her hands.
Over millennia, her fathers and mothers
solidified water between their fingers,
built palaces, cathedrals, pyramids.
Their secret can’t be taught or learned.
Their rules are crows on telephone wires,
scattering at their own discord.
She could wait for winter, but ice
is slippery, dissolving at first sun.
She looks at her hands. She looks at the water
bathing her hands, the stream-bed pebbles
in dull mosaic, the cloisonned fish
eluding her grasp. The ceaseless
water-sound and crows’ caws mingle,

They toil side by side,
too busy to notice each other
till he drops a brick in the stream.
She looks up. He looks down.
His eyes trace arabesques.
Her eyes build cathedrals.
The brick bends. The water stops.
From somewhere, a faint sound mimics birdsong.

—Miles David Moore
"Poetry and Music" is in the current issue of the online magazine Innisfree
Poetry Journal

Posted by dwaber at June 5, 2007 11:21 AM