Chasing the Light
I.There is something immense about crossing borders. All the names are there,
forgotton or changed, cities and rivers, visible and invisible, Birth and
I have always loved trains because they are the speed of looking and
everything is measured progression. No center but the traveller.
Crossing from Greece to Albania, the field of snow and figures, no real
arrangement, no purpose or movement except to kneel or stand, return the
same way. The lens of the car windshield going past. Speechless
Was there a war going on that I couldn't hear? I wanted so much to dance
You can dance in the snow in Sarajevo. Jump on a train to finish a story
which begins in side you. Cause the world to purify or shelter the
darkness. Awaken songs stronger than death's silence. Recognize all you
love in a single moment. Find everything that is lost and lose it again.
Find your way home
The light in someone's eyes. No casual thing
How do you achieve autonomy. Even at the edge my uncle needed survival
equipment: his ancestors, old friend, late dog, one ancient myth. He did
not say his children or his wife, all whom he loves. Deeply. Perhaps
because they cannot make the journey, they are still in the field with the
I have no torch or compass, my ancestors speak in riddles, I am not as
brave as you.
He says her legs are long, so long. They make him remember another country.
They make him forget. When she enters the room he is warm and wants to take
her hands and put them under his shirt. Where they can blossom. He wishes
he could open her legs. Where he knows it is rich and a man can be anything.
The sheets were always white. Behind shutters even the sound of motorcycles
and parrots were lost. He said, "you know men well" and tried to explain
about some childhood illness that left marks on his thigh like seed pearls.
They spent afternoons on the beach, almost empty in January except for
fishermen in boats painted for a carnival. The fishermen lifted full nets
careless of squid and starfish clutching at their feet, sometimes stopping
to smash one that would not let go against a rock. At night he wore a clean
shirt and ran a matchstick under his nails. His mouth would shape the wind
and twist the sheets into sails
That he stands. About to raise a bow. Without turning, any wildness that
comes will be beautiful. Dog or leopard also inside him.
That he stands. About to raise an arm. In the trees birds are stirring.
Geese sweep the field. The pond moving with fullness.
Before he lies down he will follow a sound, believing he has crossed distance.
He lifts her hair the way palms scoop water, again and again, becoming a
course, following collarbone and neck, ribcage and sternum, arched bow or
rippling streambed, first he sings then gathers
Sometimes when speaking they are one. The reader cannot tell where one ends
and the other begins. Whose voice is it? Has the music of one disappeared
into the cadence of another? Or is it finally, the balance between that
makes speech indistinguishable, no longer speech at all
Like another time in my life when so much beauty came, not as a gift, but
the expression of ourselves in proximity
As if ever there were a time
when light raining through trees
was not yours
the sweeping clouds shadow not
your hands passing over
all I see
No one told me
it would be this difficult
that everything I built
has no purpose other than
a reach across distance
I cannot close
Always what comes before and after
Always chasing the light
Copyright © 1998 D'Anne Bodman
D'Anne Bodman has just published a book of poetry and photography with Nancy Roberts called The Bending Moment. She lives in a house where the birds sighted were recorded on closet doors and the views are uncommonly beautiful. She writes, "Perhaps because of my name, ungiven, and years of answering to misnomers, mispronunciations, names of husbands and dogs, a princess, I have a mistaken identity." D'Anne lives in Massachusetts.
D'Anne Bodman Poetry- "Chasing the Light"|
Published: October 27, 1998
Copyright © 1998 by the Cosmic Baseball Association