"Watch"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
June 17 2008 7:13 AM

"Watch"

Listen to Eamon Grennan read this poem.


1.
Watching it closely, respecting its mystery,
is the note you've pinned above this heavy Dutch table
that takes the light weight of what you work at,
coaxing the seen and any mystery it might secrete
into words that mightn't fall too far short, might let you
hear how the hum of bees in the pink fuchsia
and among the buttercups and fat blackberries
is echoed by that deep swissshhh sound that is
your own blood coursing its steady laps
and speaking in beats to the drum of your left ear.

2.
When you watch the way the sycamore leaf curls,
browns, dries, and drops from the branch it's lived on
since spring, to be blown by a soundless breeze
along the seed heads of the uncut grass, then
the mystery that is its movement—the movement,
that is, from seed to leaf-shard and so on
to fructive dust—holds still an instant, gives a glimpse
of something that quickens away from language
into the riddling bustle of just the actual as you
grab at it and it disappears again, again unsaid.

Eamon Grennan's most recent collections are Out of Breath (Ireland) and Matter of Fact(United States)as well as a translation (with Rachel Kitzinger) of Oedipus at Colonus. He teaches in the graduate programs at Columbia and New York University.

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