Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sonnets for Lily Yukon - 4. Landscape in Snowdome

A pair of tamaracks plus their naked, rawfingered shadows—
painfully configured hands & black snow generally, blacker snow
locally where the tamaracks' hands reach out at obtuse angles
all these black gloves abandoned gesturing from the drifts,
        all these

spectacles & their bent black rims—
& not much else can be seen for a month of Sundays inside this
        snowdome except the confetti
which looks like a lingerie catalog shredded then reincarnated as
        black snowflakes about the
size of eyelets;

the trees had their own ideas of anguish;
you knew how they felt about such things, Lily: you
felt like them watching a glove floating under the bridge &
        through the canal's fingers which are black ice; your body,
        standing over the bathtub
feeling absurd dripping icicles like a tamarack's needles; & I'm
        somewhere else,
the way the glove's wrung-out when the cops fish it out

Jack Hayes
© 1990-2009


Totalfeckineejit said...

Chilling,in every sense of the word.

The trees have their own sense of anguish, and so do we John.

John Hayes said...

Hi TFE: Amen to that! Thanks.

Mairi said...

The whole piece feels like raw fingers handling raw emotions, and everything reaching out, including the narrator, at obtuse angles, touching nothing. As bleak and beautiful as those tamaracks, naked except for their little dark cones and the knobs on their branches where their needles once were, stark against the background of snow.

John Hayes said...

Hi Mairi: & thanks so much for this rich reading--very much appreciated.

willow said...

Very dark and cold. All that bleak, black snow and that chilling last line. Another powerful piece, John.

Poetikat said...

I was put in mind of The Group of Seven paintings with those tamaracks leaning in the wind.
The black, the black ice. This one is bone-chilling.

Are there more sonnets for Lily to come? I do hope so.
There's always the bathtub, isn't there? I'm really intrigued by that.

John Hayes said...

Hi Willow & Kat

Willow: Glad you liked the poem. These did come from a fairly dark place, taken all in all.

Kat: There are two more in the sequence, so they'll appear here on the 17th & the 24th.

Dominic Rivron said...

Good poem. Icicles keep popping up everywhere at the moment. Had to google tamarack. Seen one now: "naked, rawfingered shadows" very appropriate.

John Hayes said...

Hi Dominic: Glad you liked it. The odd thing is I wrote these poems while living in San Francisco, which gets no winter in the usual sense of the world, & after living for several years in Virginia, which gets a very mild winter if any. I guess tamaracks are a north american tree.