Poetry

David Sam

VERBAL
 
At the start, it will be only
impossible, just to see
without the syllable,
just to listen with no
sound to utter as verb
or noun or any other
but this eloquence
of simply waiting.
 
Things will seem less
real, being without names.
Words will be orphaned
and laid to rest in those
journals poets prize
and in reference works
that lose ability to refer
then rest on empty shelves.
 
You simply look and see
as humbly as sunlight
that ignites all color.
You simply hear
and sense as winds make
waves of grass or bloom
birds from green leaves
to bursts of open sky.
 
We start streetside
and end by maps
and signs. So here
as well we must
remain ignorant without
one trace or omen
to guide us down this
open concrete way.
 
See how my shadow
separates from me
and motions itself
to dial the sun to time.
While I am fixed here,
worlds spin around
and leave me empty
in vertigo of still point.


NAMES FOR THE EARTH
 
names for the earth
prattle silence
 
I gather fingers
of angels
 
as clouds of sheep
float a graze of meadow
 
and starlings and swallows
startle the wind
 
Paths all lead
to one dark ocean
 
over the travails
of tall hills−
 
excellent
the names for the earth
 
            (after Psalm 8)