Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reginald Shepherd (1963-2008)

Poet Reginald Shepherd died yesterday. Gentle trip to the other side, Reginald.

You, Therefore

For Robert Philen

You are like me, you will die too, but not today:

you, incommensurate, therefore the hours shine:

if I say to you “To you I say,” you have not

been set to music, or broadcast live on the ghost

radio, may never be an oil painting or

Old Master’s charcoal sketch: you are

a concordance of person, number, voice,

and place, strawberries spread through your name

as if it were budding shrubs, how you remind me

of some spring, the waters as cool and clear

(late rain clings to your leaves, shaken by light wind),

which is where you occur in grassy moonlight:

and you are a lily, an aster, white trillium

or viburnum, by all rights mine, white star

in the meadow sky, the snow still arriving

from its earthwards journeys, here where there is

no snow (I dreamed the snow was you,

when there was snow), you are my right,

have come to be my night (your body takes on

the dimensions of sleep, the shape of sleep

becomes you): and you fall from the sky

with several flowers, words spill from your mouth

in waves, your lips taste like the sea, salt-sweet (trees

and seas have flown away, I call it

loving you): home is nowhere, therefore you,

a kind of dwell and welcome, song after all,

and free of any eden we can name


(from Fata Morgana by Reginald Shepherd)




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