Philosophers’ Stone

            for Bob Pinto

The day my professor died
I found this stone.
It stood out from the others.
The stone that others reject
Becomes my cornerstone,
The first matter of all things.
It’s a good stone, full of questions,
A complete mystery,
And sometimes its own answer.

The Last Lesson

in memory of Homer Plante

Didn’t the prosody present a paradox,
Our voices in voiceless meter,
Our perceived ideal deceived,
Ashes in the lamp that was glowing?

Didn’t the sense seem fleeting
And it was only ever our feeling
For the heartbeat of correspondence,
The lived thing on a dead page?

After attending to externals
We began with inner sense.
Counting every measure
We saw clearer to a center.

We placed a shadow on a shore
Of eternal whisperings,
And drew a line in our minds
Like the footsteps of Ozymandias…

Harvest Song

Many leaves in the schoolyard blowing.
Many children at recess playing.
The wind erased the blackboard,
The bell emptied the schoolyard.

Many leaves and many seasons
And wisdom with its myriad reasons.
Even if the lesson is erased
You’ll know, the learning’s not effaced.

Timeless Placeless

                       for Alistair MacLeod

Sometimes things are the same everywhere,
That’s also what you taught me.
There’s mist and wind and the sound of waves,
The sound of rain and time passing,
The sound that home is never far
And follows you like a sea, wherever you go.