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John Mole

Portrait of John Mole

CONTINUUM

The readers over my shoulder
Are becoming the dead,
A vanishing perspective.

Gone from this life
Too many in less than a year,
And the time to count them

Less than it was. With a gesture
Precious and unique
They wave in parting:

You're on your own now
But must speak for us
As our loss has taught you.

No hesitation then
Or only an instant
To appraise her beauty

Before answering
This first-year student
On video-link -

I have a question.
Which do you fear more,
Your own death

Or the death of loved ones? -
For what can I say
But that the one must be the other

Either way, that fear
Is only for what vanishes
Without its due of plenitude

And celebration. Poems
Are the living counterweight
To absence, gestures

As precious and unique
As those my loved ones
Have already made through me

In parting, finding words
For this, the moment
When almost at a loss for them

They gaze at her beauty
With my eyes and answer it
As I do, hoping we speak the truth.

SHIPMAN


Walking towards the camera
is how we'll remember him
and how he was caught off-guard
like anybody's uncle
back from fishing, conning us
with an angler's fiction
that the catch was his,
that it had been a good day
and tomorrow he'd be off again
while the weather held.

Just a tilt of his head to the left
and a hint of whatever it was
that might be closing in,
to be run and run, to become
the clip we'd know him by
but fail to decipher. Unexceptionally
this was any doctor, yours or mine,
although along the pavement
of a mild suburban avenue
the very stones cried out.

VARIATION ON AN OLD RHYME

This is the blackbird that wakes with a song.

This is the sun
That shines for the blackbird that wakes with a song.

This is the earth
That welcomes the sun
That shines for the blackbird that wakes with a song.

This is the snow that fell through the night
That covers the earth
That welcomes the sun
That shines for the blackbird that wakes with a song.

These are the children that cry with delight
That play in the snow that fell through the night
That covers the earth
That welcomes the sun
That shines for the blackbird that wakes with a song.

This is the wonderland of white
That surrounds the children that cry with delight
That play in the snow that fell through the night
That covers the earth
That welcomes the sun
That shines for the blackbird that wakes with a song.

This is the quarrel that started the fight
That stains the wonderland of white
That surrounds the children that cry with delight
That play in the snow that fell through the night
That covers the earth
That welcomes the sun
That shines on the blackbird that wakes with a song.

This is the wrong that none can put right
That caused the quarrel that started the fight
That stains the wonderland of white
That surrounds the children that cry with delight
That play in the snow that fell through the night
That covers the earth
That welcomes the sun
That shines for the blackbird that wakes with a song.

These are the nations in all their might
That suffer the wrong that none can put right
That caused the quarrel that started the fight
That stains the wonderland of white
That surrounds the children that cry with delight
That play in the snow that fell through the night
That covers the earth
That welcomes the sun
That shines for the blackbird that wakes with a song.

And this is the song that goes on in spite
Of all the nations in all their might
That  suffer the wrong that none can put right
That causes the quarrels that start every fight
That stains the wonderland of white
That surrounds the children that cry with delight
That play in the snow that fell through the night
That covers the earth
That welcomes the sun
That shines just the same on everyone.


© John Mole