Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Rod Naquin

5:28 PM


The eighth installment of 2013 TiL's 2013 Poetry Series features the work of poet, musician, teacher and bayou dweller Rod Naquin. 

I. The oak tree stands so tall behind the house

The oak tree stands so tall behind the house
and reaches its branches into the morning sky
to tell the time. A brown shadow extends
over the pasture, the Sun moves in broad arcs

and at an odd angle. I remember her skin,
the way she moved her lips, the way the time
seemed to not exist. In the yellow light
her body moved like a quiet music played

by gods. The exaggerated colors of the leaves
seemed without limit, it seems like the time moves
like a river or like a cloud, without effort

or meaning. The falling leaves are the minutes
of a clock, branches are arms and the shadows
move like dreams under a mysterious heaven.


II. I started to walk, and then a couple drops


I started to walk, and then a couple drops
of rain fell on my head. It was the talk
of clouds and earth I heard, starting to listen
to choral birds and frogs. What do they hear
what we don't hear? I wonder how unreal
our language seems to them? I see frogs here

and there among the bugs, I wasn't here
when she had come to see me. The raindrops
made the blues darker in her dress, the real
and heavy nature of her weighed me. Talking
to the small flowers with my posture, hearing
their petals move, I am the patient listener

composing what he hears. I start to listen
to the cycles turning around, both here
and in the heavens. I'm starting to hear
the whirling of the spheres, I am a drop
of knowing in an ocean of love. The talk
of seas on shores, of gulfs and rivers, real

lasting verse that shapes the lands. I realize
the words I speak, I realize my listening
extends my consciousness. These objects talk
to me in languages I don't know, here
and there I sense a grapheme. The teardrops
are shaped like letters, vowels, I can hear

the syllables come from her mouth, I hear
the movement of her tongue and love. The real
and vibrant world engulfs me, I have dropped
myself into a mysterious well. I listen
to the walls and fall, the void that is here
is the same everywhere, this idle talk

is purposeless. I feel the air that talks
above the mountains and rivers, the air I hear
is moving as the weather. It moves from here
to there as the days pass, it isn't really
something that you can read to know, just listen
to the soft clouds and trees. I am a drop

of nothing, I am a drop of lazy talk
that you can't hear. I am the leaf that listens
to the real and vibrant music of here.


III. Lover, you rise like dawn within my thoughts

Lover, you rise like dawn within my thoughts
defending me with your light. O your comforts
are those that birds and trees have always sought
by opening up. I'm hearing the long and short
vowels articulated, the music that delights
my soul. The warm light expresses your mercy,
your forgiveness of the iniquities of night
and the awful sin of youth. You're the currency
of the heavens and your soft, curved arms held
me when I was forsaken. The trees stand upright
and the storm does not think that it should yield
to a poet's sentiment. O lover, you tighten
yourself around me, you're the joy I've sought
in verses and the multitude of my thoughts.


IV. Every direction, every verse explaining


Every direction, every verse explaining
pluralities of love. The lean muscle,
the unexplored library, the expression
of love in the thunderstorm. I'm hearing

a possibility, a rhetoric that's yearning
for a partner. The intervallic relations,
the modes in which I speak, the vain sighs
and ineffable madness. Every direction

and there's no center, pointless meditation
and love's insidious trials. O she is
something that I can't possess, I think

of new ways to express her. It seems
that the rain may never get here. She is
the mixture of fear and awe I'm feeling.


V. I searched the banks and beneath the water

I searched the banks and beneath the water
for a demonstration of her quiet face
and its mysterious figures. The wide sea
receives the rivers and the same wide sea
knows many shores. I see reflective water
shine on her bare surfaces, her soft face
and shoulders draw me in. I search her face
for music and resplendent mantra, the sea
is undulating with the Moon. The water
tumbles in waterfalls that face her seas. 


***

Rod Naquin is a musician, poet and teacher from Bayou Gauche, Louisiana. He sings and listens with the birds, frogs and clouds on the bayou. More of his work can be read at: briefdreamsonnets.blogspot.com.

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