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Pattiann Rogers

The Myth of the Fields

            . . . into his gates with

            thanksgiving and into his

            courts with praise . . .


The bluet blossoms lie thin and transparent

As petal-shaped slivers of a cold sky fastened

To the earth. The seedhead of a dawn, as icy wheat,

Brushes the sun-touched withers of the rising colt.

And the pony-scented sun rises, spilling flashing seeds

Of ice above the deeply buried petals of a black sky.


The court of god is the presence

Of this myth in the field, a court entered

By particles of thanksgiving discovered as light

Inside the quiver of the pony’s haunch, inside the thin

Fire of ice cracking across the columned grasses.


And the kingdom of the field is the sheathed

And hooved, the rooted and earth-tight myth

Of god, the traceable electrons of that myth existing

As opening gate of potential light found and witnessed

Inside the intimate body of bluet, inside

The failing sound of the pony’s call.


This point of praise for the sunsheathed stem

And broken-bladed frost is, in fact, half particle,

Half cresting effluence of illumination itself.


The sight seen through the open gates

Of the seeded bluets, the frozen blades

And icy myth of the sun, the shining shoulders

And frosted mane of god, all must enter into being,

Solely and at once, through the recognized form

Of their inseparable praises.

Remembering the Imagination: A Love Letter

Can you imagine remembering the rain, less than rain,

Yesterday morning, almost a stationary mist,

Imperturbable and weightless, a mist remembering

To exist in those places where nothing else

Was imagining itself to exist at that moment?


I remember myself imagining the spun moisture

Arching inside the inner-surface fuzz

Of every pre-dawn leaf and the glint of the condensation

On the outer surface of each of those dark green

Memorable leaves. I can imagine the fog

Completely filling the oak tree with more spaces

Than it could ever remember having possessed before.


And I remember the pine tree, maintained and encased

Inside the mist, holding one clear precipitate drop

Poised at the pinnacle of each of its sharp edges,

As if the tree had suddenly imagined in glass

Those precise points at which it had ceased forever

To remember its identity.


Can you imagine the clear golden horses existing

Inside and outside the fog, never remembering to imagine

Their perimeters, leaving themselves thus vulnerable

To that indefinite mist moving at will in and out

Of their rib bones and flanks, their fetlocks and withers?

The fog, moving in and out of the gold lenses

Of their disappearing eyes, could easily carry

In either direction whatever vision the horses

Might choose to imagine themselves remembering.


Imagine the fog, appearing, if the horses

Remember it simultaneously, as smoke blown from their nostrils,

Or appearing, if the horses imagine it simultaneously,

As billows of pale surf rolling over their disintegrating

Hooves. If the horses should emerge snorting

And rearing on the surface once more, imagine yourself shouting

To them before they sing again, “Remember, remember

To imagine the total gold boundaries of your possible existence.”

Outside the imagination, no one had ever been able to remember

Anything of gold horses which have forgotten themselves.


At the distance from which you read this,

Try to imagine an invisible fog filling like light

More spaces between us than we might remember exist, ignoring

Those perimeters we have chosen to forget, an indefinite light

Moving freely from eye to eye, easily carrying the vision

Of everything I might wish to imagine that you remember

Of my existence at this moment.

A Sequence of Circumstances

Inside a real forest of blue ash, blue beech,

Speckled alder and ward willow, there is an imaginary

Lake bordered by greenbriar and honeysuckle,

By frogbit, lily and rushes of waterweed.


On that imaginary lake there is a real vision

Of two lovers drifting alone in the dusk

Beside the tangled banks of dark forest, lovers

Whispering together as they lie side by side

In the bow of the boat.


Within this real vision the woman makes imaginary

Trails across the surface of the moon

On the lake as if she actually explored the dust

Of that light by the tip of her finger moving

Over the water’s white craters and their peaks.

By the imaginary trails her finger makes there,

The real moon on any real night is not known

And witnessed hereafter to be

Forever marked by fable.


And when her lover first bends to kiss her breast

In the dusk, moving his lips slowly across the dark

Of her nipple exactly as if he were a fable

Discovering the soft, hidden surface of some unmarked

Moon, there is a recognition of motion rising

In the mind, a motion reminiscent itself of dusk-scented

Lake water rocking slowly like a cherishing breath

Slowly discovering an imaginary sky, a real motion

Of recognition which could never have existed at all

Through any sequence of circumstances

Other than these.

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