by George Oppen

George Oppen

I dreamed myself of their people, I am of their people,
I thought they watched me that I watched them
that they
watched the sun and the clouds for the cities
are no longer mine image images
of existence (or song
of myself?) and the roads for the light
in the rear-view mirror is not
death but the light
of other lives tho if I stumble on a rock I speak
of rock if I am to say anything anything
if I am to tell of myself splendor
of the roads secrecy
of paths for a word like a glass
sphere encloses
the word opening
and opening
myself and I am sick
for a moment
with fear let the magic
infants speak we who have brought steel
and stone again
and again
into the cities in that word blind
word must speak
and speak the magic
infants' speech driving
northward the populist
north slowly in the sunrise the lapping
of shallow
waters tongues
of the inlets glisten
like fur in the low tides all that
childhood envied the sounds
of the ocean
over the flatlands poems piers foolhardy
structures and the lives the ingenious
lives the winds
squall from the grazing
ranches' wandering
fences young workmen's
loneliness on the structures has touched
and touched the heavy tools tools
in our hands in the clamorous
country birth-
light savage
light of the landscape magic
page the magic
infants speak

Last updated January 14, 2019