Refrains for Robert Quine

        Love comes in spurts.                    

And goes is gone
cause for mourning head
in hands in tears gonna be a long long wait for the resurrection
of the dead.
There are birds there is birdsong
unmourning and unmournful at sunrise in the white light
there is a garden with high walls around it
jardin de plaisir
of mint and lavender of hyssop in hedges glassy beads of water on velvet leaves
purple-flaked lupin spikes above velvet pulmonaria
there is a gardener la belle jardinière bare-breasted and bare-footed
of all flowers in her arms and woven in her hair.
And it hurts not good but
to see a man head in hands in tears it breaks you up
to see a man come down in tears.
There are birds there is birdsong
having come through hunger and danger
there is free song
a free weaving of many songs
song against song and other songs clustered/spun out in a blending of wavy pitches
doucement the phrase means what the songs mean
that meaning so sweetly and freely as a gardener weaves flowers in her hair.
Can we stay in the weave of
that meaning can we/should we attempt to stay to linger
in a pleasure garden everlasting dream of
love tomorrow its unseen/secret structure when our time remains a
bad time and what time wasn’t
wasn’t and isn’t a time of hunger and danger of young men and older men
in tears our time a time
of terror and counterterror can
we our
time remaining a really bad time a really down and dirty time
of terror what
walls do not fall and who says they have no fear.
And boo-hoo-hoo
like dolls
hurts breaks you up like dolls get broken the visible human
the visibly spastic plastic.
There are birds there is birdsong
unmourning and unmournful having come through
there is a garden with swept gravel paths
dream designed/bel et bon designed connecting and interconnecting
non brisé
where men and women are in contemplation in conversation in
one another’s eyes
there is a gardener holding her bouquets and holding her skirts like the light like
so sweetly woven song like love never for sale.
John Taggart, “Refrains for Robert Quine” from Is Music: Selected Poems. Copyright © 2010 by John Taggart. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Source: Is Music: Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2010)
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