Today's poem is by Eamon Grennan

From the Road

What stops me is the big indifference
of weather, the remoteness it shows
in all its peremptory gestures.

But then there's Bach coming out
of the air, an equal mystery. Rejoice!
he says, all ye ransomed souls.

Imagine. Though there are times
I have to close my eyes
in passing, feeling

the filthy shape of things sprawled
in snow by the roadside, knowing
for a speechless instant those small lives

quenched in a twinkling. Then to see
rocks, their colours, as if for the first time:
smoked topaz, bleached emerald

and washed out onyx, seams of charcoal
blazing their almost unchanging lives
on a backdrop of snow and steam

where a factory chimney sends its
hot head out to lick and be altered
by the near-zero air. We're on that edge

too, it seems, flung from one element
to another, ice to air to fire to falling
back to earth together, talking as if

our lives depended on it, finding
grammar is destiny, syntax its guardian
angel. Now, in flame-coloured jackets

a pack of children is playing, tiny figures
on a flat field of ice, standing or running
or walking on water, in the chill of which

the slowed fish are turning slow circles.

Copyright © 2005 Eamon Grennan All rights reserved
from Green Mountains Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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