06 November 2013

Robin Romano: 1956-2013

I remember the November night almost ten years ago when we huddled in quilts and sweaters in front of your fireplace and read our favourite poems back and forth to each other to stave off the pain and the cold and the dark. I hear your voice speaking these words again tonight, asking me to read them back to you after you shared them. I hear your voice in everything. You taught me how to speak. Tonight the loss of you is a silence bigger than any words of my own, so I speak your favourite words back to your spirit tonight, to the part of you that might still listen from wherever you are.

The Port

The river is slow
and I knew I was late arriving but had no idea
how late
in the splintery fishing port silence
was waving from the nails
dry long since
the windows though rattling
were fixed in time and space
in a way that I am not nor ever was
and the boats were out of sight

all but one
by the wharf
full of water
with my rotted sea-clothes lashed to a piling
at its head
and a white note nailed there in a can
with white words
I was too late to read

when what I came to say is I have learned who we are

when what I came to say was
consider consider
our voices
through the salt

they waken in heads
in the deaths themselves

that was part of it

when what I came to say was
it is true that in
our language deaths are to be heard
at any moment through the talk
pacing their wooden rooms jarring
the dried flowers
but they have forgotten who they are
and our voices in their heads waken
childhoods in other tongues

but the whole town has gone to sea without a word
taking my voice

-W.S. Merwin
The Carrier of Ladders


Old Egg said...

How crisp those beautiful but sad words were as I read them aloud. No wonder they are words of memory and of loss.

Gillena Cox said...

this is a tear-jerker; have a wonderful Sunday

much love...

Trill said...

I came to see who you were, and here you are posting Merwin, who is my favorite, and someone I plagiarized, almost, for years before I knew who he was. <3 Nice to meet you. :)