...that which has no name.
Ghost-trees, the color of self,
Their absent tops anonymous
By moonlight, like the lotus,
Lily, in milky goldfish ponds,
Or fuchsia, shy-quiet amaranth,
Sheltered by high mountain pine,
Cypress, gingko and white willow,
So like the gods in their aeries,
Never known except by name,
So joyous a thing unknown.
So much for sweet October, passion-field clefts
Of wild iris and lilac, Veronese violet and purple sage,
Inchoate luminescence of showoff kiss-curls and mugs
Addressing the quilted sky-blue morning moment. The fall
Of grace, grandiosity sanctioned by Great Keats, le même,
Nurturing Nature, agon against a fast-passing decrepit self,
And pompiers. Slow ache and rhythmic breathless art—
Sensuous seasonal vibe—through late summer trees
From the same false summer breeze, slavish summer rain,
After so many hacks and false starts, ruffling young frocks,
Scarlet and saffron petticoat peony, hobble-skirt crocus—,
Had its fill of fullness, complet, awaiting wherever dark leads,
Where all frail lives are led, without color or light or rapture,
Unforgiving the future.
Lotuses on a Summer’s Evening
(after Yung Shou-p’ing)
What if they’re not as sublime as baroque Blue Nile lotus,
Crème-white Madonna lily, ascending aflash from sacred waters,
Stems stiff as righteous Jamaican spliffs, têtes regally coiffured,
But just gangly and beige and somewhat scumbled, brushed
On mulberry bark or rice paper, their taupe, misty palette Home,
Opening nightly up from rushes and shallows for no one but
Themselves, Art, Nature, Poetry, and the unseen Spring-Moon
Illuminating mist just enough for feel, just as it illumines every
Mortal thing in this world, however briefly, fabled glam aesthetes
Sporting toque-blanche-et-azure crowns, milkweed and toadstool—,
Sunflowers caught furiously yellow on canvas in the act of being
Nothing more beautiful than they already were, are, always have been,
In bleak, wintry Arles.
Gordon's seventh poetry/fiction collection, FROM FALLING, will be published August/September, 2016 (Spirit-of-the-Ram P). Work appears in juried journals like AGNI, AMERICAN LITERARY R, KANSAS Q, LOUISVILLE R, MISSISSIPPI R, NEW YORK Q, POETRY SALZBURG R, RHINO, SONORA R, TEXAS POETRY R, BASEBALL BARD, among others. He has been awarded NEA and NEH Fellowships and been nominated for four Pushcart award and NEA's Western States' Book Awards.
He divides personal and professional lives between Asia, Europe, and the Desert/Mountain Southwest.