Afternoon in the early stages of decay:
Another room forming a temporary retreat
From the lake, the light still full, the disorientation
Complete—delusion collapsing under the weight
Of intangibility, shifting from dreams to days.
The light burns dazzlingly clear,
Sleep a vanishing substitute
For memory, and awareness as calmed
As the lake before sunrise.
Filtering through the eyes
As a certitude of unsure dreams,
The light falls within the iris—
Waves that glisten in the wind
And touch reflected forests, a saturated
Indigo and green allowing perfections
In a substance of sheets of illusion:
Rising towards the light,
The eyelids enclose the dream,
Open the dream, are sure of daylight
And the yellow waters of sun.
The fragmentation of enigmas
Yields perforated tissues of rising light
That fall into the eyes:
Indecipherable are stratified visions
Of a monochromatic night, calcification
Without reflection—negligent insularities
That deflate in a geology of inorganic time,
Hymnals stained with memories stale
In ellipses of remembrance and oblivion:
Through the clogged hours history
Backs up and drowns itself, the refracted
Residues drawn out by fervent partisans.
Questions and Answers
What inspired “In the Laurentians”?
Upon a time I frequently stayed with friends at Lac-des-seize-îles near Morin Heights. The original conception was half a dozen or so poems, which ultimately were compressed into a sequence of three. The composition dates are Lac-des-seize-îles, QC – Vancouver, BC, 30 August 1972 – 20 March 2003. The time contained some difficulties.
What poetic techniques did you use in “In the Laurentians”?
I eschew a consciously technical approach while drafting; but sometimes will apply it after the fact.