From abysses of her skirt she pulls
a pack of cards, draws five,
spreads them in a fan.
My boyfriend and I see only
oily gray as the tail
of an old Warsaw pigeon.
In a pause between the worlds,
she ponders the first card --
slowly looks up
with stone-dark eyes:
You are going on a great journey.
I nearly faint. The city swirls
with great June solstice light;
and in my purse, barely
obtained, my American visa.
Behind us, on the Palace of Culture
façade, the huge heroic
statues of workers and peasants
lift hammers, sickles, march
into the future; the Gypsy barefoot,
scarf flowering red poppies.
You will be rich, the Gypsy drones,
You will have three children . . .
You are thinking of a crown . . .
She turns to my boyfriend, draws
another fan of cards:
Fear sits in your stomach.
His face goes white --
he’s terrified of the draft.
You are thinking of a female head . . .
You will have two children . . .
He glowers -- obviously not with me.
And you will be rich, she hastily
adds, her bronze narrow hand
plunging my bronze ten zlotys
down the forever of her skirt.
I’m seventeen. So this is fate.
Holding hands, he and I
walk the blossoming boulevards.
So this is fate: pale golden bells
of linden trees hum with bees
as with a million stories --
two suitcases, a pack of memories
slippery as worn cards. A waste
of money, he says as we step
through the nets of shadows;
disappear in the gilded light.
So we travel on earth seeking the terrain of Poetry, walking through wilderness and empty landscape or visiting those ancient sites like Dholavira in far-western Gujarat, or Mykenai in the Greek Peloponnese, or the Arawak campsite on eastern Carriacou in the Grenadine Windward Isles, pursuing that authenticity of experience in a form of antique material reality...
These are places, strange and vague situations where death is manifold and thoroughly extant to the careful eye. There are women’s bangles made of shell to be picked up from the saline dust or small copper beads and thin chert blades, or tiny obsidian arrow-heads that can be unhidden and disclosed beneath those bloody grey walls about the Lion Gate, or beautiful indented potsherds and ceramic fragments at the waterline where the Atlantic rolls out its long blue visceral waves...
Kevin McGrath 🐚Yoga of Poetry
“Dare to live the life you have dreamed."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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