Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday Poetry - two for one

Since I didn't do this last week, here are two:

After the Transfiguration
Grinding up the steep incline,
our calves throbbing,
we talked of problems
and slapped at flies.
Then you touched my shoulder,
said, "turn around."

Behind us floated
surprise mountains
blue on lavender,
water-colored ranges:
a glimpse from God's eyes.

Descending, how could we chat
mundanely of the weather, like deejays?
We wondered if, returning,
James and John had squabbled:
whose turn to fetch the water,
after the waterfall of grace?

After he imagined the shining tents,
did Peter's walls seem narrow,
smell of rancid fish?
Did feet that poised on Tabor
cross the cluttered porch?
After the bleached light,
could eyes adjust to ebbing
grey and shifting shade?

Cradling the secret in their sleep
did they awaken cautiously,
wondering if the mountaintop
would gild again-bringing
that voice, that face?
by Kathy Coffey

After the ark plunges out of the water
and the survivors, in the chaos
of their happiness, burst
onto dry land, they dance
under the bluest sky they've ever seen,
shaking their hips and lifting their arms
and shouting for their prey.
And when the rainbow vaults across the sky
and the doves vanish into the light,
they know they've been saved.

But destruction comes to the impervious fish
who like sly speculators exploited the flood
for its great cargo of flesh.
Now on the hardened shore,
their exposed fins grow useless
and their open mouths gasp for air.
by Dan Pagis
translated Jeff Friedman and Nati Zohar

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