Cassandra’s Tears

Tears of joy, tears of pain, we are reflected in the salt-water pools we create. So let us build a fleet of paper boats and sail them on our ocean of indecision, laughing at the wind-whipped white-crested waves that would wash over us, drowning us in our own despair, yet somehow never vanquishing us in the end.

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Location: Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


by Ralph Gustafson (1909 – 1995)

Procrastination fumbles
Every frond
Of forest-snow; across
The frozen pond

The plane of sunlight scrapes
Concealment thin,
On north-banks cuts away
Each ravelin.

The tooth of April chumbles
In the mud,
Razing history where
A footstep stood;

The crusted runnels sag
Beneath the weight
Of sun; the brittle drifts

Abrupt, the cables of
The landscape lapse,
The hidden girders of
The frost collapse

And like a blast of gold,
A clarion,
A thousand startled waters
Take the sun.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Small Town by the Lake by Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958)

As I stumbled through the woods,
suddenly the trees parted,
revealing the vista before me:
the reflection of red roofs
and pastel plastered walls
on the still waters of a lake.

There was no boat to ferry me across,
no vessel at all to mar the mirror perfection
of the glassy surface;
only the reflected town itself
and the fluffy whiteness of a lowering sky.

The arching trees under which I stood
mimicked the cathedral spire,
or perhaps it was merely
a country church belfry
which strove to impale the passing clouds.

Off in the distance,
beyond the town,
I spied farms and fields
fading into the far horizon.
The town crouched under its cover of cloud,
admiring its image in the silent lake.

I gazed upon its perfection,
but eventually turned aside,
allowing the trees to close behind me
like a heavy green drape
hiding the village, obscuring the lake,
as though it had never been.

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