Do Not Die Out, Fire.


Here’s a poem from     Czeslaw Milosz :



The pungent smells of a California winter,

Grayness and rosiness,

an almost transparent full moon.

I add logs to the fire, I drink and I ponder.

“In Ilawa,” the news item said,

“at age 70 Died Aleksander Rymkiewicz, poet.”

He was the youngest in our group.

I patronized him slightly,

Just as I patronized others for their inferior minds

Though they had many virtues I couldn’t touch.

And so I am here

, approaching the end Of the century and of my life.

Proud of my strength

Yet embarrassed by the clearness of the view.

Avant-gardes mixed with blood.

The ashes of inconceivable arts.

An omnium-gatherum of chaos.

I passed judgment on that.

Though marked myself.

This hasn’t been the age for the righteous and the decent.

I know what it means to beget monsters

And to recognize in them myself.

You, moon, You, Aleksander,

fire of cedar logs.

Waters close over us,

a name lasts but an instant.

Not important whether the generations hold us in memory.

Great was that chase with the hounds

for the unattainable meaning of the world.

And now I am ready to keep running

When the sun rises beyond the borderlands of death

. I already see mountain ridges in the heavenly forest

Where, beyond every essence, a new essence waits.

You, music of my late years,

I am called By a sound and a color

which are more and more perfect.

Do not die out, fire.

Enter my dreams, love.

Be young forever, seasons of the earth.





<a href=””>Pungent</a&gt;

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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