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Three Elementary Prophecies - Alvin Feinman - matters_of_importance

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Three Elementary Prophecies
     Alvin Feinman (1929 - 2008)
     Preambles and Other Poems (1964)

1. For Departure

You will not want what gives this going speech
Only as loss the stay of it
Not the rhythm drained into its sense
Like a world surviving

Only as absence, as a silence touched
A thing out of the body gone, desire
Or a blood-accustomed dread

Nor seek a knowledge of this breach
A name of it, as love
The flawless metamorphosis of dying
Stilled to its idea

Or membered like presentiment or choice
To your days' held mine
A sentence, or the letter of a truth

Only this presence destined
As weather from its source
Toward broad or violent unleashings
Fables of the suffered and the joined

The rest unnumbered and devoid
A wind that will not move or pass
Rain tangled to a ruin, to
A season's felled forgotten root.

2. For Passage

Think then the ruin of your thoughts, and where
The persistent blood beats still under them,
Of birds you cannot follow with your eye.

Think the dark and breeding thickets
Where lowly animals die, and over the gloom
Bright birds passing in the light:

"What is your life if not the flashed stroke
Of your meaning, of water
Hurled once or blindly against rock,

Your living laid to the pillow of its sleep
As windows close to the street's tumult,
To love's long minute and the lips..."

Nail your will to the yellow fallings
Of your days, as tragedies slip
Their herald warnings through their acts.

Own land and sky, all seeing suffering things,
Water riding water, wing and roof,
The rip and baggage of all your ways.

3. For Return

Far, the farthest exile, and the steed
You ride must paw the ground, riderless,
Death's resignation come to matter

To mercies walked from the same blue fulcrum
Where your powers impel you
Unobscured by necessary pities,
Come like numbered birds in the common air
And needs before they improvise their names

There love will touch where your energies begin
Where your hand asks you light from primary colors,
Assembles a mystery detained by sorrows

Like roofs the color of particular houses
And the logic of unexpected trees, love
Like sons will be far in the night
Close, as horses in the night, and welcome.

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