Today's poem is by Christopher Buckley

Guess Work

(starting with a Jaime Sabiries line: trans. Ernesto Trejo.)

A poet is as old as what he sees,
as old as the stars
that have never mattered,
as phonemes of air lost inside
the lungs of trees—and despite
what you've heard,
the wind tells him nothing,
and the shapeless skies. . . .
We carry our daydreams
like orange blossoms floating
in a bowl out onto the patio,
the porch of unqualified regard,
where a few phrases of sea light
are as impenetrable as the future,
where the clouds never
acquit us.
                      What have I been trying
to prove thumbing through
the blurred notebook
of the blue? All I've turned up
is the circumstantial evidence of atoms,
a see-through moon denoting
at least half of everything
we've worked for and lost.
Whole civilizations have been
deciphering dust.
                                  And since
someone is always bound
to bring up sorrow,
today it is faithfully represented
by a wren on the yellowed lawn,
its one eye the color of a galvanized nail.
The beachcomber drags his sack
of shells and bits before the tide,
no different from the rest of us
arriving with our doubts
and second-hand expectations,
such hearsay of the heart.
If I am sure of anything,
it is the grey sun sinking like a pearl
through the evening mist
where we will never be
satisfied with our brief bouquets
of light, where God almost
never responds.
                              At the table,
I fiddle with my napkin,

with a plate of empty speculation,
crumbs blowing every which-way
in a gust. . . . And now
that we know the dark
is not infinite, what
does it all come to
beyond sea currents,
the circulation of the blood?
If I have a soul, I imagine
it's much like a '50s transistor
radio, palm-sized, pulling in static
from so far away, who knows
what they're saying?
The spindrift stars, foam
and roar—those thin voices
so far removed from paradise,
singing with such indifference—
how can it matter who
we finally think we are?

Copyright © 2008 Christopher Buckley All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002-2008 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved