Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Poem about Separation and Belonging

"What Does it Mean to Be Separate in a Quantum Universe?"

"Everyday experience thus fails to reveal how the universe really works and that's why a hundred years after Einstein, almost no one, not even professional physicists, feels relativity in their bones."
--Brian Greene,
"The Fabric of the Universe"

The poetry here is in our memory
of these journeys to a trail of moss,
where lichen drapes black spruce;
where we step
carefully up caps of old stone to view
the undulation of a very clear lake
on a very clear day. Each of us preserves
the moment discretely. Later we bicker
specifics: which trail took us up,
how the first tree held us or how
we held it for balance, steady
in the wind, or just

to hold a tree. I remember these spaces
at an angle independent from yours. The inlets,
down there, festooned in rock
and succulents,
draw me in. They have their
gravity, but your focus may be further

to an island with sheer cliffs,
a rookery
of helixing gulls or curls that remain,
after all, waves. Still we are both here
climbing. And this is truth,
the rooms and fields and even

the rivers we have crossed
will be reported as if from different
countries of eyes.


Or back even further:
a sister, a brother, recall the terror
of a cruel parent;
another sibling, even present

in the same kitchen, does not
remember. Were they looking elsewhere?
For protection? Survival
of their own desires?
Some things are too terrible or real
for two people to recall in the same way,

memories spoon and fit
but somehow never agree
and, while attempting to travel the bridges
of wounded love,
mistake the unchanging space of yesterday
with what may have never been.



if there even is such a thing, we have grown
past all wounds in remembrances.
We travel through
the same spaces and accept
that what we see may not match.
I, on one side of the long path

closer to a complete surrender
to gravity, and you, over there, watching
a far eagle (or is it a Great Blue?)
unmoved on the unseen
sails of the air.
This is compliment, not conflict

and if at times, in the same ear,
facing the same way, you add
your stories to mine, a way forward
or not, completes.
I can stay here until the sun falls.
There is some great sway in the throbbing

sky -- lit and curtained
over loon
and cougar and a pack
of wolves that skulk together
each with its own vision
together whole, one, and fine.

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