®

Today's poems are by C. J. Sage

Birth Ghazal

I want to say before I die: my heart is clear; my hands, reborn.
To feel, before sleep, the drums of hooves against the night;
the wild horse and its gallop, the perfection of its untouched neck,
the rise of dust clouds, the bristling of bones, the flight reborn.

There is a hole in the world through which things come and go,
come and go; there is this hole through which things pass.
Last night I saw a whippoorwill soar in through it screaming
and this morning drift back out again like romance, not reborn.

A red-winged blackbird has fallen from the sky with the rain.
A red-winged blackbird has floated in the rain and has lived.
As I am I am nothing and everything I was, erased.
A woman who died of disaffection flew away, and was reborn.

I was once a wall of flowers tumbling down, a room of red, red poppies;
people spoke to me in breaking blossom talk, in stems and petals.
Now, Here is a cave of oyster shells, someone says, There is a field of deer.
Tell me, Sage, this someone says, into which will you be reborn?


Bridge Ghazal

My love and I reside upon the belly of a bridge
with heartbeats of the sky—the drums upon the bridge.

I've heard of songs that rise at night from pitch black oceans.
I've heard the strums of lyrics made by four hands on a bridge.

My love and I do landscapes for the gardens of the sea.
At night we sleep as seedlings at the center of its bridge.

Once I saw a Sufi breathe in seabirds, and send them out again.
I've seen people bearing blindfolds near the entrance of a bridge.

My love's old love, he says, had tried to douse him in a moat.
He grew gills to save himself and hid beneath a drawbridge.

The masters speak of magic at the middle of the rings
where Yes and No chase each other round the props of any bridge.

My love's new love, some say, makes far too much of things
as fundamental, elemental, as the structure of a bridge.



Copyright © 2002 C. J. Sage All rights reserved
from Let's Not Sleep
Dream Horse Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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