WHATEVER SENDS THE MUSIC INTO TIME
Whatever sends the music into time,
not just in metre but through centuries,
Mozart years of sound, the flat stone skipped
across the glassy surface of that fourth
transparency; whatever it may be,
code as tight as DNA or heavenly gift,
perhaps a curse, but if a curse a gift
for some poor devil in the mind of time -
what I am getting at, it cannot be
within one’s sole control – the centuries
roll back, old ground uncovered, a fourth
of history returns, the rest is skipped
to be revealed again when more is skipped
under the stone where earth’s most treasured gift
lies buried waiting the tiller’s bringing forth
each truth in its appointed (random) time.
And so the influence of centuries
gone by foreshadows what is yet to be.
But here I am concerned with what will be
when my pen, across the pages skipped,
auditions for its place in centuries.
How does a poet hint for such a gift
and to whom? Mother of future time,
where do I seek you? In Einstein’s fourth
dimension? Or in myself, which can give forth
such music as I have? Let it be
enough for me and mine in our own time.
About that time – about the days I skipped
through city leaves, thinking the sun a gift
immeasurable, no thought of centuries,
no knowledge then of years (of centuries
and histories, less intimation): if forth
from infancy comes all there is of gift,
struggle though I may; if it should be
my name in that long heritage is skipped
for one less happy in her own true time,
I think the music that I hear must be
enough, the other vanity well skipped.
Sufficient beauty is there in my time.
Often I veer from wanting to be good
to doing what is right, and back again.
They’re not the same. To open up the flood-
gates of my heart may simply drown my brain;
to stem that tide with reason, just restrain
a passion that has instinct on its side.
And what accounting must I make for pride?
To attract new friends and keep the old, to please
my love beyond the argument of skin,
must I consider each antipathy,
concur with every shibboleth? How thin
is such affection! What’s then left of me?
But, truly, would I ever surrender love
when there’s no other cause I’m certain of?
Copyright © Leah Fritz 2012