The Poetry of Mary K O'Melveny



I watch stately chunks of ice

move along the Hudson.

They shape-shift like time lapse photo skies,

brain-teasing puzzle pieces in play.


Like memory shards

that carry us onward.

Fast.  Against our will.

Iceberg realities lurking large below.


The chilly blue light vies for position

with bright, greywhite clouds.

Quite the ballet – in and out, a reach,

a stretch, a coy peek, a grand rush.


The late afternoon wind is bleakcold.

New birds in search of Spring seek

bits of space between sparkling blocks,

as they test the ratios between breeze and bluster.


Once we watched an ice barge brazen its way

up the Chicago River.  It cracked, chopped,

forced brief watery partings that quickly mended,

Sisyphus-like, an instant later.


The cold breath of memory is visible

on these frosty days.  Each surfacing

is another jeweled adornment.  Each melting

away a chilly termination of time travels.


I watch stately chunks of ice

move along the Hudson.

But what I really see is dredge and pull,

cut and sort.   A reassembling.


It is good to do this now and then --

shake things up, stand back

and take it all in, jagged, ragged,

raw edges and all.   While there is still time.




Rhinecliff, NY




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