For Jan Seale
Beyond Mirando City
There are places where the stricken world tapers to an end:
Thin spots, bereft of voice or birds,
From which obscure vehicles in endless caravan siphon
Essential mysteries or dark green dreams.
I’d not stop at such blighted corners of creation,
But life draws one close at times,
To contemplate the bloated spiders and dust
Amidst crumbling gray stones.
Once I chanced upon what seemed the edge,
Last border ‘twixt here and gone,
A hapless town of curtains and rusted cars,
White glare, long black shadows.
In the company of a kindred soul I stopped,
Both unsure we’d have another chance
To refresh before we risked the lip of the world:
Mirando City, leagues from Loredo.
In a weed-choked park we cringed, obeisant
To vast, empty, blue-spangled sky,
And forsaking ablutions or curtsies or smiles,
We set off to crest that final hill.
Somehow we knew the gap is bridged by words,
So we twirled garlands of songs, jests, quotes,
Bits of half-remembered verse, epiphanies:
Lovely, ascetic detritus of literate lives.
Laughing, we flung our flowery grapnels
And swung ‘cross that chasm deep,
Mind-to-mind in the sempiterne dark,
Glittering with writ, lore and wit.
We emerged at last beyond Mirando City
To the beautiful rattle of kingfisher cries,
And awestruck I saw the edge must exist
So that we twist garlands together.