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Moving a Greenhouse

Harold Rhenisch
From:   Taking the Breath Away, 1998



The first weather sign for Rain: Barn.


The other signs: Glass;

Wing;
Shattered seed; sun all day,
with brief showers toward evening,
mauve light through the willows,
a flower spilling out dusk;
a broken flask;

high wind, tattered cirrus.

The weather sign for ash: black knife

of the tongue,
broken jar of the night.

Those signs are the eyes.

Those are the windows.
Those are the laughter
in the fingers
that dance over the Earth's skin,
like a drum
made of petals,
a breath made of bees,
a splinter of the evening breeze
brought across such a distance
it is now a word.

They have placed it under glass.

The people crowd around,
behind ropes.

Art used to be to honour the dead,

by aiding them to cross the river
without memory. That
was the hard part of life, to keep it going
without the body,
and, above: the sky,
absolutely clear, absolutely empty.


This is the weather sign for night:

clouds on the horizon,
men raking the loose soil
under the blighted fruit trees
of their heat-parched gardens,

taking the air in by great mouthfuls:

and within them slow, giant fish —

moving behind their eyes,
pushing their flanks
up against the glass
as they slide by —

breathing, slowly,

under the carbon dioxide skies.



Harold Rhenisch's works copyright © to the author.


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