Stephen Fuller *** Poetry, Essays

Dare Me

Dare me
Landscape to make me feel.
And so disciplined find words
I can assemble into meaning
For my own eyes to construct
On lines in my head before their
Dissembling to move back into my own heart.

I need my heart to step up its efforts with words’ unmasking.
So, I ask, for landscape
To keep me on the hook, even in winter

When barren domains wipe me out…
My lower vertebrae with its broken wings
After too many falls and now
another
From
Tumbling
Backward
Over a snow bank
Saving my walking friend, the dog,
From the skid steer departing my now plowed drive.

Thumbs up exchanged fleet.
The ache, the slow arising of it,
The spasming reminder of life,
Lingers.
I collect my books, Rilke and Milosz and Szymborska and Sze, to serve me.

And so, Czeslaw has, his first, Artificer, from Poemat o czasie zastygłym in New and Collected (1931-2001)

“This is the only landscape able to make him feel.”

The ache, the slow arising of it,
The spasming reminder of life
Finds its construction in my mind
And begins dissembling to find my heart
Where unmasked, the ache
Becomes poetry Landscape
Demanded from me, a stern teacher
That refuses to let me give up.

It’s punishment would be so cold, my breath’d be stolen.

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