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Transit Zone by Martin Burke        < back : index : next >   

T h e  L a k e

The light was more shadowy grey
about the lake than it was light,
the stillness seemed an accompaniment
to the water which did not lap the shore
but ended in a frothy nothingness.
Even so, even so, there was
if not beauty then a certain calmness
which redeemed the late afternoon
from the shadows it was slipping into
and which I gave credence to
as if like a faith I had long abandoned
it was coming to life again
Why had we come? Yet that was not
the question -if indeed there was one.
Call it the off chance of a side road
we followed to see where it would lead
little suspecting that it would bring us
to this place and revelation,
that here was also a place of history
and mythology we would have to confront
and either be the better for
or else be suppressed by.

Yet the water and light remain
though of our conversation little survives.
Perhaps it is right that it should be so
water and light, and how we related to it,
being the primal elements of the day:
shadowy grey yet none the less light
we moved about that lake by, not caught
in one of Dante's rounds, free of that consequence
we were none the less aware of
then moved away from as it grew dark
and took once more to the road
we originally intended to follow
before we were deflected from our course
as I took one last look and promised myself
that whatever the rest of the day would bring
I would be faithful to the light and shadows I had seen
and by which I came to this conclusion:

to hold to that light, to study its dark,
to not forget the place where this occurred,
to acknowledge my surprise and compliance
when it ended in amen.

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