Monday, August 01, 2011


I have just said goodbye to a friend
And am staring at fields of constalks.
Their stubble is being burned, and the smoke

Forms a gauze over the sun's blank face.
Off to the side there is a line of poplars.
And beyond, someone is driving a tractor.

Does he live in that little white house?
Someone is playing a tape of birds singing.
Someone has fallen asleep on a boxcar of turnips.

I think of the seasonal possibilities.
O pretty densities of white on white!
O snowflake lost in the vestibules of April air!

Beyond the sadness—the empty restaurants,
The empty streets, the small lamps shining
Down on the town—I see only the stretches

Of ice and snow, the straight pines, the frigid moon.

Mark Strand
from Dark Harbor