Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

November

Gary Hyland
From:   White Crane Spreads Wings. Coteau Books, 1996


Brittle leaves scuttering the street. Streams of chimney smoke blurring into clouds.
Wind grey and sleek packing gutters with snow. Trees bleak, beyond meaning now,
not manic cuneiform, not gestures of disease, not eunuchs grim in the shrill light.

You lean to this. You feel knees spreading to release you. Hands that clasp and knot
your bleeding. You feel your breathing begin, the vague pain fibrous beneath
your scream. You see the grey radiance, the white spaces, the sheen of polished steel.

You feel the topaz talisman. Its pale gleam. You receive drawings of a beast, a sky,
so that you may see all that you are, all that you will be. An amber fog twines along
the water where you must kneel, the river that meanders deep into the hallowed land.

The river becomes a creek freezing. A forgotten tent torn, dreaming of grass,dreaming
of arms, lovers humming. Shreds filling with distance and the wreckage of reeds.
The hermit of the sedge who would have hailed you has retreated to another month.

Sleep is your response. Sleep defeats time. Until something in you stretches, yawns
and conceives spring, even now, and you clamber the slopes steeper and steeper
to celebrate winter's easing. The air cuts deep. You breathe keen flakes of glass.

No thaw. The month moves with you, your cowl. The moon a gleam on the creek's
dark ice. Something wants warmth, something sings fire. You gather willow splinters,
the stems of rushes, leaning stalks of yellow grass. You will please whatever sings.




Gary Hyland's works copyright © to the author.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page