Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ARCHITECT (2), by KAREN SWENSON



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THE ARCHITECT (2), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whatever his dreams have been it is now hard to say
Last Line: He hears the wind that cries through feathered wings.
Subject(s): Ambition; Architecture & Architects; Memory


Whatever his dreams have been it is now hard to say,
perhaps to build the last cathedral for an age
watching God depart - the light gone left windows glass -
so that he might say, I have given you domes and altars,
I can praise no more and will not go within to beg.

But the lust that carved fingers round a pencil
has worn down, a chiseled saint caressed into his stone,
the wash of a watercolor sky that pales
into the pure primary fact of blankest paper.

It was so much more difficult than he thought,
not just bricks and mortar but wives and children.
There was no commanding the kaleidoscope to stop.
The pieces kept on falling in and out.

Now he walks his property under lean-boughed trees
where clouds are torn in the naked snare of twigs
and marks for the ax those that could not survive,
feeling the grass crisp with frost beneath his feet.

The leaves curl black over the hidden embers
but he sees above the haze of memory sharp and warm;
the wild ducks in arcs of numbers fly so low
he hears the wind that cries through feathered wings.





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