starfall

sheila packa

^

  • into shore came driftwood
      fallen and polished
  • into shore came shattered and smoothed
      glass, translucent and blue
  • into the year came February
      cold and snow
  • into the storm came the other world
  • into the dead of winter came fire
  • into the keyholes, locks, into the hinged doors
      came relentless wind
  • into the wind, a music
      from the northern lights
  • into the scales the shafts of solar dust
      lit by the departed sun
  • into the howling, an ecstasy
  • into the interior, immeasurable waves
  • into the battering, a sea
  • into the stones, slender green stems
  • into the cracks, came love
  • into the vessel, into the body, the source

^

  • in the beginning was a note
  • before a word was written
  • along the lines against the sky
  • like birds that rest and rise up
  • and fly away
  • in the beginning was a note
  • before a word was spoken
  • written in rivers flowing
  • endlessly in the day and night
  • over stones and hard places
  • in the beginning was a note
  • before there was a word
  • written in the blood flowing
  • in the veins in the body
  • to places never seen
  • in the beginning was a note
  • in the limbs of trees swaying in the breeze
  • not silence exactly

^

  • the calling
  • comes like notes
  • that press into my breast
  • into the chambers of the heart
  • and my blood takes it on roads
  • deep inside
  • that split and divide
  • it's never enough, what I have
  • in hand, the music...the circumference
  • goes beyond
  • the body (yours or mine)
  • the only thing that contains it
  • is the sky, sometimes by the stars
  • I can see
  • this other body
  • we're inside, the ribs' blue vault
  • and the wind coming in like breath
  • notes bend
  • around the strings
  • and turn like a river that rises and falls
  • along a landscape welling up in the twilight
  • petals
  • opening on white water
  • lilies and the crossing of bears
  • and winged migrations calling

^

  • from a tiny wire, vibrating
  • from far away, full of arrival, the wind
  • from the north smelling of permafrost
  • and smoke and sedgy marsh
  • sweeping down the latitudes and longitudes
  • drops degrees
  • drops water on the leaves
  • the sun's relentless shining, unbroken
  • by cloud or wing or forest, drops
  • what the stars pick up by darkness
  • onward and endless the blue landscapes
  • the gray dome when the sky drops
  • the shifting greens, yellow green, deep green
  • dark green, gray green, black and dust
  • star moss in the damp
  • shadow of a tree picks up the sound
  • the white pine roots lift the flat stones
  • upward everything into music

^

  • what's found
  • in the tangle of trees
  • in twigs
  • from branches
  • and trunks and roots
  • in the ephemeral
  • tenderness of green
  • leaves that last a season
  • in the trembling and wind
  • the blue of sky and lake
  • in clouds resounding
  • from a place of emptiness
  • a chamber that answers
  • in vibration, string and wind
  • a trembling, brimming and falling
  • in the place opposite of grief
  • the place opposite of dark
  • in the body of lost
  • in water and air
  • a star whose light
  • has ended but travels
  • toward us
  • rising and falling
  • in a cascade of notes
  • which is not endless
  • but aching and sweet
  • like iridescent feathers
  • of wings that rise and fall
  • in the circle of migration
  • a flight of music we breathe

^

  • Love goes on in spite of the quarrels
  • in spite of leavings, broken hearts, rejected rites
  • discarded love letters, promises never kept
  • love goes on in face of all its failures
  • betrayals, reverse in fortunes
  • formidable opponents, competing needs.
  • Love goes on and on
  • if not above ground then under, if not under
  • then through, if not through
  • then around, if not around, then over
  • and over, if not you, then another, if not
  • another then another.
  • Love goes on
  • slips out of our grasp
  • travels upon the roads
  • falls like rain and
  • floods and evaporates only to rain elsewhere.
  • Love goes on here and elsewhere
  • beyond the bodies, the climax, the clasp
  • of hand and mouth and ribs and limbs.
  • Love is beyond the kiss and the words
  • darkness and sunrise, the births.
  • Love is beyond the pain of it, the disdain of it
  • the stain of it, beyond the seed that falls
  • beneath the soil before
  • and after the rain that splits the seed open
  • the tendril that lifts its small stem
  • goes on to leaf and back to seed.
  • Love is this circle that we're in
  • outside, inside, unsayable, unspeakable, unseeable
  • unknowable creator and destroyer.
  • Love, love, love, how grief rises
  • into dark stars.

^

  • what if a star fell into your hand?
  • what would you do with the weight?
  • with the infinite roaring
  • the burning light?
  • what if a star fell into your hand?
  • what would you do without a body?
  • without shadow or distance
  • the end of night?