Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Widening Gyre

By Amy Baranski

If this is the widening gyre let me in!
I'm sitting at a desk in my room just to my left is the small lanai. Earlier this morning I went swimming in the cerulean blue waters off the east shore of Kauai. The trade winds are blowing the heavily bundled clouds and an island rustle of papery palms paints the air.

On the flight over I spent time reading the in-flight magazine, working on the crossword puzzle, napping, eating free pretzels and Sprite, as I do, and mouthing the words to The Second Coming. Out of my periphery I could see the passenger to my left staring at me out of his periphery. I slanted my poetry book on my lap so he would know I wasn't crazy, just memorizing a poem for an hour, obviously.

Here it goes for you by heart.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre/the falcon cannot here the falconer/things fall apart; the center cannot hold/mere anarchy is loosed upon the world/the blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere/the ceremony of innocence is drowned./The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity./Surely a revelation is at hand./Surely the Second Coming is at hand./The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out/when a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi troubles my site/somewhere in the sands of the dessert/a shape with the body of a lion and the head of a man/a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun/slowly moves its thighs/while all about it/reel the shadows of the indignant dessert birds./Darkness falls again and now I know/that 20 centuries of stony sleep/were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle/and what rough beast/its hour come round at last/slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

I have no idea if those line breaks are correct, nonetheless the grammar. I will check back in the morning after I've fully absorbed my first day of sun and gone for my first night swim.


1 comment:

Bob Redmond said...

Hey, wasn't I "the passenger on the left"?