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Two books by L. Ward Abel

Rain Line Looking for the Ocean

(To Wallace Stevens)

 

I.

Up in the Hartford building

Up in the sky of skies

There were hallways that had

Glass walls, and behind them

 

Great leather chairs, couches

Two eyes, stacks of policies

The words “Phrases!  But of fear

And of fate” scrawled on an

 

Actuarial table.  Up in cigar

Smoke beside a window of brick

There decayed a ham with onion

Sandwich.  Not the thing.

 

II.

Songs were invented before words.

It is easier to sing even if badly

Than to speak with some meaning.

 

Beautiful fractal patterns making  

New every time, there were tribes that

Sang across woods and valleys to commune.

 

They ultimately mimicked the sounds

Of colors around them, colors manifest

In the sensation of touch and the dead art

 

Of poetry.

 

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Death

 

the water rolls

and, draping terraces,

seeps to that place

where we kneel down

to drink.

Shimmering.

 

 

***

 

 

War

 

There is danger in jazz

danger in what

it lets,

in the envy it mothers

paying attention mostly

to how much a soul weighs.

These are times

of believing self-assurances

and sleeping at boundaries.

Jazz lets us do that. But now I

see lights in the woods.

 

 

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£5.00

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