Lost (after Goethe)
As I walked the clumps of cedar forest
I saw a small shadow by a flower,
an aster. –Me! it cried, cupped in its dry bed, smaller
than a finger. It was so different from my life,
my eyes, my reason, those silent gates
that open from without
and without speech enclose night. I bent low, came up with all
small roots, electric skirt twirling tangles
in the sun. It looked up at me, red maple leaf-
swaddled in green fern, and I brought it to the garden
beside the damned ugly house, and planted it.
You will grow until a river, I said.
Your sorrow will withdraw into a quiet nook.
Your limbs will pierce islands of shade beneath the elms,
your seedlings will grow as stars that breathe
your namesake without hesitation. You will bloom
as ships gathered in the bay, as clouds returned from voyaging
with no shrapnel in their skulls.
You will bloom the same as asters in the grove where I found you.
You will bloom as we do.
Crocuses, snow-oars on a plow-swelled sea,
violet-scorned silver sheen curled up, inward,
under plasma careening orb-like atop a sinking rig
as the plow plows the plow plow plow
yet I’m in my apartment dreaming
they breathe small breaths to snow. Still other
crocuses collect, furled ears in downy rain
whispers from the far way, whisperers gone
to a hidden place where spirit meets the sand.
David Capps is a philosophy professor and poet who lives in Hamden, CT. He is the author of two chapbooks: ‘Poems from the First Voyage’ (The Nasiona Press, 2019), and ‘A Non-Grecian Non-Urn’ (Yavanika Press, 2019).