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

On the Point

Bruce Meyer
From:   Radio Silence. Black Moss Press, 1991 p 62-63

Walking south on Point Pelee, the shingle
hissed like false teeth on a dentist's
shelf; I found an arrowhead pointing north,
the way a compass teeters on the declination
between exactness and general direction.
Winter threatened in the distance. A single
bunting flashed a purple wing to insist
south was better than abstract north.

Carolyn called to me and pointed west.
The sun was like a Latin verb, bright,
firing the lake, but dying in its own
declension: lucere, lucerae, lucerum
and the darkness behind said, "come,
let's see the end of it," a prow pressed
against the Erie current, the last light
before us, a light turning slowly to stone.

That night I dreamt of canoes hauled ashore,
soft cool wind blowing across an Indian
summer afternoon, the stench of stretched hide,
stone hammers chipping at grey lake stones,
and the birds frantic. The dream disowns
the dreamer. It becomes a spirit hungry for
time itself, a hunger of white pre-Cambrian
winters gnawing in all directions from inside.

And this is the false mythology which guards
our failures and intentions; the idea of a nation
struggling like a last leaf and brilliant
before the killing chill on the verge of November.
And in a language waiting to be spoken, I remember
a flight of geese heading south, the shards
of tools and broken promises, the patient
story lacking a teller, our narrowed destination.

When we arrive at the end, the end of our country,
the last place on earth we can name as home,
the terminus of exile, the dream we dreamed into,
we will meet ourselves silently and say little;
we will turn north again, north toward home,
carrying with us that long walk on brittle
fragments, a place more craft than country,
where the waters parted and we slipped through.

Bruce Meyer'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