Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday Poem - I Praise My Destroyer

How can it all end,
the moon making foil of the blueblack sea,
at twilight the sandbars holding lavender
among turquoise shadows,
pastels of water lidded by pastels of sky
and, at angle, moon shimmer snaking to the horizon?
By the dockside, a diver kneels at his tank,
to test the regulator, as if taking communion.


How can it all end,
the cabbage whites aflutter
like tissue-papers
lofting to Heaven in a Japanese temple,
the yellow roses numbingly fragrant
and even the spiky conifer
whispering scent.

I praise my destroyer.
The sea turtle's revenge
is to dwell at equal measures
from the grave. Our cavernous brains
won't save us in the end,
though, heaven knows, then enhance the drama.
Despite passion's rule, deep play
and wonder, worry hangs
like a curtain of trembling beads
across every doorway.

But there was never a dull torment,
and it was grace to live
among the fruits of summer, to love by design,
and walk the startling Earth
for what seemed
an endless resurrection of days.

I praise life's bright catastrophes,
and all the ceremonies of grief.
I praise our real estate - a shadow and a grave.
I praise my destroyer,
and will continue praising
until hours run like mercury
through my fingers, hope flares a final time
into the last throes of innocence,
and all the coins of sense are spent.

Diane Ackerman, I
Praise My Destroyer (Excerpt)


Valerie said...

Thank you. That poem says it all during these sad times in Haiti. And the photo to match

Anonymous said...


John-Arthur said...

This is still one of my favorite poems of all time! It's masterfully crafted.