Friday January 21, 2011

Juncos fill the lilac, nearest cover to an unfrozen section of stream. Five or six at a time they flutter down to drink from the dark water.

11 Comments


  1. Ghazal of the Dark Water

    Tell me again that story of the woman by the well,
    and of the wanderer who asked to drink from the dark water.

    On the banks, river stones gleam like cut topaz, like milky agate or
    ovals of smooth amber– such contrast against the dark water.

    In the kitchen above the shed, the stove comes to life and a kettle
    whistles. Tea or coffee grounds swirl, darkening the water.

    Squares of paper hang like laundry on an indoor clothesline.
    Someone is waiting for prints to come alive in trays of dark water.

    Small birds migrating from sleep cluster near the windows–
    Don’t eat the merest kindness, like bread thrown upon dark water.

    Juncos fill the lilac, nearest cover to the stream’s unfrozen section.
    Five or six at a time, they flutter down to drink from the dark water.

    Who keeps filling this earthen pitcher? Once and for good
    I’d like to break it on the hearth and pour out all the dark water.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    01 21 2011


  2. Dave — use this revision. Thanks, Luisa

    * * *

    Ghazal of the Dark Water

    Tell me again that story of the woman by the well,
    and of the wanderer who asked to drink from the dark water.

    On the banks, river stones gleam like cut topaz, like milky agate or
    ovals of smooth amber– such contrast against the dark water.

    In the kitchen above the shed, the stove comes to life and a kettle
    whistles. Tea or coffee grounds swirl, darkening the water.

    Squares of paper hang like laundry on an indoor clothesline.
    Someone is waiting for prints to batten in trays of dark water.

    Small birds migrating from sleep cluster near the windows–
    Don’t eat the merest kindness, like bread thrown upon dark water.

    Juncos fill the lilac, nearest cover to the stream’s unfrozen section.
    Five or six at a time, they flutter down to drink from the dark water.

    Who keeps filling this earthen pitcher? Once and for good
    I’d like to break it on the hearth and pour out all the dark water.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    01 21 2011



  3. Luisa, that is wonderful.


  4. DRINKING THE DARK WATER

    Five or six juncos at a time
    Flutter down to drink from
    The dark water of the yet
    Unfrozen stream covered
    By their lilac perches.

    Elsewhere in the shantytowns
    Of Haiti, children jump into
    Murky canals—what’s left
    Of them—unburied by debris,
    Swim with the flotsam and
    Carrion of dogs and carcasses
    Of swine felled by temblor.
    Their raucous laughter and
    Irreverent hallooing mock
    UN relief workers mixing
    Purifiers, quinine, chlorine,
    Into tanks filled with dark
    Water to supply the infirmary
    Nearest the canals with
    Drinking vats for the sick and
    Dying, cleaning liquid for
    Strewn sputum, faeces, and
    Excreta galore, and at end
    Of day dark water for the
    Naked boys and prancing girls
    To swim in with the floating
    Carrion and lilies of the marsh.

    The trill of snowbirds
    Fluttering down to drink from
    The dark water covered by
    Their lilac perches are dirges
    Elsewhere in the dark water
    canals of a wounded Earth.

    — ALBERT B. CASUGA
    Mississauga, 1-21-11


  5. Today this is my favorite on the page.

    Something about the sounds or letters in: ‘Juncos fill the lilac’


    1. Cool. That’s definitely an instance of a phrasing forced by Twitter’s 140-character limit — I would’ve much preferred to say “the lilac fills with juncos.”

Comments are closed.