Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sky Drain

Here's another photo from Alder Lake in the Catskills, in Ulster County. (See previous post.) I love the way the sky appears to be serenely slipping down the drain. Time washing over the edge, softly disappearing. It was a very good day.

For your reading pleasure, I've retyped "Sending You," a beautiful poem by Ray Gonzalez from his book, Consideration of the Guitar:

I am sending you a piece of sycamore bark.
-- Paul Celan

I am sending you the shadow from
my cottonwood tree, making sure

it extends over the river to reach you.
I include the leaves in my mother’s hair,

the brittle flashes of brown that
stuck to her at my birth.

I am giving you the roots from
excavated ground, their arms

reaching as far as the stone wall
where my fathers scrawled their names.

I have not forgotten the mud
from their swollen feet, rain

washing it off their labor, carrying it
beyond the storm to dry at your door.

I am delivering a cloud floating
in the sky as a memory that will

find you on the other side, passing
you flowers that grew on the earth,

their seeds the touch you needed
when you were the source of love.

I am mailing you a letter, my words you heard
when you were the sunlight that came and went,

transferring your fire into me
in the same way it burned you.

I am sending a piece of those ashes.
They spell my name as they fall into the canyon

washed out by the river, the shadow of my
cottonwood moving in the direction I came.

-- Ray Gonzalez

This poem was reprinted here with the permission of the author, Ray Gonzalez. It appears on page 16 of Consideration of the Guitar: New and Selected Poems, BOA Editions, 2005.


Deborah Batterman said...

And I'm sending you words of appreciation for a very moving poem that seems so much of a piece with your 'sky drain.'

Christine said...

Thanks, Deborah! I'm glad you could savor Ray's wonderful poem ... and saw the connection to the photograph.