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Monday, April 23, 2012

Fast Day 255 April 22 2012 {On Meeting Neighbor Knowles In The Cemetery}

On Meeting Neighbor Knowles In The Cemetery

We walked to a primeval grove
of a ripeness passed beyond its time:
Absalom Vandever four-square stood
a funeral obelisk inscribed,
cut with the names of all his wives
and their progeny of his despair:
Afra was the first
who bore James of the three days:
she died in ’75, and the child
followed soon thereafter in the last
two of his toll of days:
he knew, Absalom thought, and inscribed
upon the  face of stone:
The face of God is the first delight!
And the only delight for thee!

On each remaining triune face
was a woman’s name and a child’s
who was born to pass right on,
at least by the testament of this granite here!
Four wives, five children, the last were twins
a final paradox to Mr. Vandever
not fathoming fruit and multiplycation
combined with a cursed division...
Neighbor Knowles says no tomb of Absalom
is hereabouts and no one kens  his farm;
maybe all knowledge has disappeared…
or folks fear the bane of lecher death
that could not wait, and hied them all
to his dance in the Puttygut Road cemetery.

“Being in troubled times, I wonder
what will break the spell
of this profound despair of mine,
this my titanic hell!”


True experience...
I use the word "triune" because there are 3 remaining faces; this may be illogical from a certain point of view.
It is sad.


Ruth said...

Yes, quite sad. I think often of our fragile selves (when I hold my grandson James especially).

"Cursed division" is inspired.

How does a person survive so much loss?

Montag said...

Yes. I think of him as an immortal wandering figure, like the flying Dutchman, seeking solace and familial joy.

He was not buried there, but had run off to some other place...