Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Besmilr Brigham—Issue 49, January 2015)

The Blue Fields of my Father’s Love

Oh, I’ll make a book for you, I said

Oh, I’ll make a book

Your hand will direct

your dreams without age

will settle the heart—


i’ve walked where you walked, slept

slept where you slept, the living whole

moves in my heavy remembrance, child

whose living ways

you swept

all fear from

an exactitude:

essentials i could absorb, being a girl,

that were more important for that

simplification! From math to

 the solitary—

singleness of mind (that no one can erase)

Now do it, he said . . . and he lay on the ground

crying. Go to that place! the garden of

 human discovery

and the closed gate

the rivers held his

 image in water

the mountains held a boundless search—

and books

closed about the mind

and opened the heart

never to close from feeling or another’s

distress. He filled the great bucket

in one last movement, a death of tears . . .

a race

racial heritage

held at last only in remembrance

as the firing came

and the dying old said to the young,

children to children

as the great white guns shattered

Remember . . . Re-member

the earth of our feet

enriches the ground

and our dust blows in the wind,

in the wind


what will come from it i do not know. Simply, it will be my tribute to him, and to my mother . . . and I’ll write it my way

it was all after the Civil War, when even the land had been ravished—cemetery to Dead soldiers in Vicksburg (all from the North) . . . our own dead rotting where they lay (i suppose) in bayou country

the City of U. Could it be Copan? I’ve looked for it and looked for it. Only similarity is . . . on the mountain there is a frog. I didn’t go up to see it

he was on a search, setting out mahogany


He went south the same way that Franz Blom went to Chiapas, from New Orleans, from a university in New Orleans . . . and Blom stayed there

a ravaged human heart—

he still dreamed of it in the Nursing Home. Mama would wake, hearing him (in sleep) speaking Meskito Indian, the language— back in sleep in a terrain that had marked him, marked the mind . . . where people in my time even, a black race, could walk with distinction

i loved it as he did, and it opened my heart. May the god of Esquipulus help me to do it