Lorca Variation 34 A Book of Hours
3:00 P.M. The green man, more a man than most, took a scissors, cut the sky with it, let a river loose till it became a sea, the way that yellow turns to gold, his scissors tore its blue apart, his lips grown pale with dust, the branches broke & from the west a man rode up, who saw the west in ruins, Pan sat with a zither heaping sadness upon sadness earth upon air until the sun itself was lost, the air as murky as the soul of man he bathes in it he sits inside a molten pool a catherine wheel spins overhead a hundred pinwheels 6:00 P.M. They set the snake loose where the weathercocks were twisting slowly day was settling on the fountain sunset dropping from their beaks we drove our boat around while evening let its tail fall & the half moon hunkered down would turn forever blue among its blue birds 7:00 P.M. Venus waits in front of you & trembles will tomorrow ever come, she thinks & everything be like it was inside the well or will the stars be there reflected, shivering she like a girl will be the first to raise it 8:00 P.M. What a sweetheart he has, who is wrapped in her blindfold, can’t see him, not for all her one thousand eyes like a dragon’s or tongues as loud as the wind’s she will lose him at last in a crowd even though she stares down from her sky a shivering Venus 9:00 P.M. In sight of the river, a river that looks like brushed velvet an island shaped like a heart but bloodless the breeze that skims over is soft as a kiss where a cistern lies open ready to swallow the sky, an olive grove vanishes vanishes words cover everything pass them along to your lady make sure the color is blue
From Seedings & Other Poems. Copyright © 1996 by Jerome Rothenberg. Reprinted with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.