Amusements & Useful Devices from K. A. Wisniewski
If this small human testament
completes its odyssey
clears the curtains of fiery meteors
crosses the rages of magnetic storms
rides free of hydrogen whirlwinds
falls through coalsack eternities
lands smoothly on the Milky Way
glides along its lightband
to the shores of an unknown planet
in an unknown star-continent
to be found and wonderingly
pondered held in your hands-
this message is meant for you.
Be advised that I lived on
a small green ball in the suburbs
of an unremarkable star
that had begun to run down.
Our race was a sun-people
but died of diseases called wars.
To you out there in star cities
with your libraries, fountains
or you who are still making it
through ice ages of ignorance-
whoever or whatever you are
here is earth’s final message:
I love you i love you I love you.
There is nothing more to say
there is nothing better here
and nothing in all the spiraling nebulae
was a frail or as mighty as this.
I had thought the tree
was alive with birds
hearing the fury
of so many small wings
but it was only the leaves
wanting so much to fly
And there was no wind at all
but the storm from the tree
the leaves lashing and flailing
hundreds of leaves together
wrestling with gravity
Then a noise like a great river
and airborne at last
the tree flew off into the sun
borne by constellations
of green birds
all its leaves come alive.
Because you were writing your poems backward
an ancient alphabet
from right to left as in mirrors
because the letters resembled doorways
of cedar beams
letters like pillars
in rows like walls or palisades
because they rose like cities on the page
because they danced in black gabardine
because they were the strong black birds of prophecy
that flew out of the fires of immolation
because I saw these letters resembled commandments
commandments to live
because they stormed across the page
an ancient alphabet
like brotherly armies with linked arms
I knew your poems sere strong and beautiful
I knew they were invincible
because you were writing your poems backward
I loved you then and forever
for one and twenty years.
This concludes the little series on Olga Cabral. I hope you enjoy these! For further information, readers can visit links found in the previous post “Spotlight: Olga Cabral” or contact Roving Eye Press through their website.
“Electronic Tape Found in my Pocket” is originally found in Tape Found in my Pocket (1971)
“Tree Full of Birds” is originally found in VOICE/OVER (1993)
“An Ancient Alphabet” is originally found in The Darkness in my Pocket (1976)
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