Waterlily Fire, ©2014. Ink on inkjet photo paper.
for Richard Griffith
1 THE BURNING
Girl grown woman fire mother of fire
I go to the stone street turning to fire. Voices
Go screaming Fire to the green glass wall.
And there where my youth flies blazing into fire
The dance of sane and insane images, noon
Of seasons and days. Noontime of my one hour.
Saw down the bright noon street the crooked faces
Among the tall daylight in the city of change.
The scene has walls stone glass all my gone life
One wall a web through which the moment walks
And I am open, and the opened hour
The world as water-garden lying behind it.
In a city of stone, necessity of fountains,
Forces water fallen on glass, men with their axes.
An arm of flame reaches from water-green glass,
Behind the wall I know waterlilies
Drinking their light, transforming light and our eyes
Skythrown under water, clouds under those flowers,
Walls standing on all things stand in a city noon
Who will not believe a waterlily fire.
Whatever can happen in a city of stone,
Whatever can come to a wall can come to this wall.
I walk in the river of crisis toward the real,
I pass guards, finding the center of my fear
And you, Dick, endlessly my friend during storm.
The arm of flame striking through the wall of form.
(Excerpt) MURIEL RUKEYSER