This Land Like A Mirror Turns You Inward
a cento for half-sleep
Unsignificantly off the coast, there was a thing that is
like a branch, part of a tree. Yet in this room, this moment now
I am again a breathless swimmer in that cold green element.
In the nightmare of the dark I wake to sleep
and take my waking slow, somnolent through landscapes
and trees, the grasshoppers crackle and crumble the summer.
How can one teacher keep the water out, his body’s weight;
this quiet persistent rain.
Your mouth is moving over my face.
A few more breaths and it will reflect nothing at all.
Acknowledgements: Gwendolyn Macewen, William Carlos Williams,
Margaret Atwood, Dorothy Parker, Irving Layton, W.H. Auden, Theodore Roethke, PK Page, Al Purdy, Robert Creely, Fluer Adcock, and Sylvia Plath