Evening Poetry, August 17


by Ian Pople

Summer dust settled over the garden
in bloom and full of bees, their hives

full of such marketable honey, you
bought a jar. Then, amid the light blue

and white of the ground floor, there was
the lemon-yellow room and the room

in two pale blues with a Hiroshige carp
and a falcon, its talons folded under

because the hands were difficult, though
worked on over some days, and the neck

difficult, the edges of the object fleeing
toward the horizon, fleeing the unity

of flesh and (that word again!) spirit; so,
perhaps it was easier to leave the eyes out

altogether, as in the small Cézanne upstairs,
where the face is wide and slightly empty.

The features caught in the shadow of an
overhang. Outside the leaves fell from bamboo

in the  Japanese water garden, leaves that
gathered light gray stripes upon light green stripes

and the stream that ran between pinioned banks,
as if we had opened a desk marked by all

who had used it, who had slept in its dust,
who had slept in the dew in the summer.

You can find this poem in the June 2020 issue of Poetry Magazine.

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