2015 06 17
The peaceful lake among the houses glows
with sunset fire from giant floating cloud
shaped like a woman tending apple trees,
and insects, called by people long ago
as twilight fairies, dance upon its sheen
in rapid spirals, swirling without end.
I walk along a narrow path in woods
and pause in tranquil grove of whispering oaks
to watch the feathered tribe, who lived and died
a thousand years ago, dance on my grave,
and hail the woman bearing in her hands
a woven basket heaped with corn and squash.
I clutch my heart and feel its throbbing beat
gush fountains of blood down my heaving chest,
then stumble into quiet grove of trees
and sit alone on ancient rock of dreams
to stare at ghosts of long-lost carefree tribe
dance to drumbeat on shore of trickling stream.
Though I was born and raised in city streets,
and lived all my life in apartment room
while my parents worked hard at honest jobs,
I joined the mob to drive a liquor truck
from Georgia to Brooklyn once every week,
to earn enough to buy a sprawling ranch.
Though I will never know who plugged a slug
straight through my back, I found sweet paradise
by nameless lake of ancient singing fire
in Georgia woods, alone on summer eve
when all the wild children play hide and seek,
and crickets sing ambitious men to sleep.
Did my father, who walked from Russia woods
and sail from Amsterdam to New York town,
seeking a better life for me to lead,
want me to slave in clanking factories
to earn enough to feed my starving kids,
and would he cry if he could see me die?
At least I found this quiet paradise
beside tranquil lake that glows red with blood,
and I transform into a tortoise elf
who leaps on laughing wings through grove of trees
where fairies throw apples at passing cars,
and I will play a harp on puffy clouds.
I see her running in a yellow dress,
my little daughter who is never born,
and though I long to follow her in play
I stare down long into the deep abyss
until the angel of death stares at me,
and fall in lake of ancient singing fire.