Posts Tagged ‘death’

In memory of Elisabeth Sladen

Inevitable as invasion
of mint through the rose,
ivy crowding out the mortar:
the moment of companion left behind,
every instant after buckling
under fragrant weight of stem and vine
rooted in a deep transcendence of time.

Unpullable tenacity,
from under leaf and stolon to decide
to love an absence from next week and yesterday,
from the outer fling of time and space, and say,
“I can save the universe without you.”

Yet, processions of moments still precess,
the thread of time,
the hedgerow trained in vine,
all spiral out, undone.  The instant of companion gone
beyond the reach of age: inescapable
as mint usurping rose,
ivy undermining wall,
inevitable as invasion.

Liner note

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Kentucky Saddler

Tamed and yet unnamed, he shouldn’t
matter – beneath butterscotch hide, he’s no
Epona, no Agro, or beyond the digital paddock
of the console, no Artax. Measured by the hand

of the reward, this one lags behind
a mount summoned in from pack and icon, from when the last
levels to 40 were blanketed in gold
and toil, capped off in trainer and vendor and “Grats.”

No, he’s the work of a moment,
of lasso on loosed stallion, an achievement
unlocked in a minigame, two knobbed wands balancing
a scarred antihero in the sway of his back,

missing every impulse of real thigh and real saddle,
the graze of hand on flank, the tip of ankles
down in stirrups – the deadliest of overlooked
inventions – then ridden from the gap to McFarlane’s Ranch.

And yet – after cougar, snake, misfire, inexplicable
nothing, reins not reined in in time to stop the plummet his
rider somehow survived (thanks, perhaps, to his equine
bulk beneath) – there’s no going on,

not even a quick calculation of when the saving circle
last appeared, or how long since the loading chambers
stuttered their way from clear to full. No, with this
one animal gone, with the translation of triangle

from “Ride horse” to “Skin animal,” a simple answer:
to end the game unsaved.


Liner note

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