In the Winter of My Thirty-Eighth Year (a poem by WS Merwin)

In the Winter of My Thirty-Eighth Year
WS Merwin

It sounds unconvincing to say When I was young
Though I have long wondered what it would be like
To be me now
No older at all it seems from here
As far from myself as ever

Walking in fog and rain and seeing nothing
I imagine all the clocks have died in the night
Now no one is looking I could choose my age
It would be younger I suppose so I am older
It is there at hand I could take it
Except for the things I think I would do differently
They keep coming between they are what I am
They have taught me little I did not know when I was young

There is nothing wrong with my age now probably
It is how I have come to it
Like a thing I kept putting off as I did my youth

There is nothing the matter with speech
Just because it lent itself
To my uses

Of course there is nothing the matter with the stars
It is my emptiness among them
While they drift farther away in the invisible morning

– – – – –
– – – – –
~BT Waldbillig
November 19, 2017

Roman Market (a poem)

Roman Market
BT Waldbillig
Monteverde, Rome
March 2003

I turn my wine-heavy head
and hurry past an ancient
Eritrean matron
settling into a forgotten corner
of this abandoned market
still littered with rotting abundance

She settles under a faded Madonna
hoping perhaps for shelter
from the delirious clouds
swiftly drifting across the muddy sky
and whistling hot-cold gusts
over the asphalt desert

Thunder-crackle deafens me
to her mumbled request
as I lift my eyes to glimpse
the tempest’s first droplets alight
the plaster-cracked Virgin

and marvel at how
they resemble tears

~BT Waldbillig
November 1, 2017

Dog Dreaming (a poem by WS Merwin)

Dog Dreaming
WS Merwin

The paws twitch in a place of chasing
Where the whimper of this seeming-gentle creature
Rings out terrible, chasing tigers. The fields
Are licking like torches, full of running,
Laced odors, bones stalking, tushed leaps.
So little that is tamed, yet so much
That you would find deeply familiar there.
You are there often, your very eyes,
The unfathomable knowledge behind your face,
The mystery of your will, appraising.
Such carnage and triumph; standing there
Strange even to yourself, and loved, and only
A sleeping beast knows who you are.

– – – – –
~BT Waldbillig
October 27, 2017

Place (a poem by W.S. Merwin)

By W.S. Merwin

On the last day of the world
I would want to plant a tree

what for
not the fruit

the tree that bears the fruit
is not the one that was planted

I want the tree that stands
in the earth for the first time

with the sun already
going down

and the water
touching its roots

in the earth full of the dead
and the clouds passing

one by one
over its leaves

~BT Waldbillig
June 8, 2017