Variants

by E.R. Hille

From my father's house
of worn shingles and cobbles,
of lichen-stained granite
meeting the roof
through a maze of foliage,
I walked like a red-eyed ghost
with tatters trailing
in the sharp dust,
bled upon the sharp-leaved plants,
blown by salt wind.
The boundaries were drawn
upon my right hand
excluding the left;
a martial chord
muted a chorus
of orders blatantly flung
upon the cheek of the day,
a red and ignorant cherub.

All lines
that led away were cut
and trailed within my view.
Nothing was said
and communion was gorging—
the lamps were filled
with an incense
that hid the smell
of a rotten hulk of death.

Then I fled
from the lake,
and the quiet,
but there is still
a sun in my mind
and words with the spray:
they may still be there.

 

About the Author: New Orleanian poet E.R. Hille (1911-1991) surely thought the world was finished reading his poetry. Poydras wants to ensure that never happens.