Wounded Landscape with Recovery Figure
Fallen snow in the dark like a tremendous horizontal lamp. Perhaps it’s the right
evening. Perhaps it’s the right life.
Because a man looking for nothing continually finds it. Because the blaze of
mid-afternoon silence on the summer lake reappears in the winter dark, so still you can
once again dive into it and make the sky open.
And the cold night welcomes this, persuaded by its own answers, inhuman enough
to save us, a universe passing through a universe.
So I went inside the memory, carrying a cloth bag full of glass eyes. I collected
ashes and heard a rumor of children wild to gather mushrooms.
The only fine and tearless story worthy of the world you’re seeking is still yours, a
brown stone, complacent and hard.
Because the bronze of river mud at sunset is also the moist hollow of an unspoken
word. Something quiet and alone, craving the savage touch of a gentle hand.
A meal of wind and sky, smoke at twilight and the lights on in the empty barn. An
old man with a wart on his index finger stands by a well staring off across the distant
Each summer the quick swallows tug you into the air as they pass. You belong to
everything you notice, a stunned believer, an accomplice.
A ladybug falls on the water in the bucket as the old man turns to his inner task.
Something dangerous in the lungs, like air.
Partridge are feeding in the wheat. Cattle are thumping against the gate. The collie
pup has a broken ear, hoof-cut, loose and flapping like an odd funny hat.
Dust to dust and day to day. The sun sparkles back as another farmer urinates in his
So I ask this friend to untie his shoulders. I expect mountains to move with the
shadows. My own feet will eat water. This way I enter the landscape.
Friend, farmer, you accomplish me.
I have no smile for the new silence, only this convergence, this freedom, and a
sudden desire to breathe stones. The doors are all open, the rooms empty.
Another heart is forming around the dagger.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.