Poem - Myers - Desert & Cirrus



Desert is the Memory of Water


After I am gone and the ache begins
to cease and the slow erosion I felt,
being older than you, invades you too,
you’ll come to see that an image of the desert
is the memory of water, like remembering

when we were walking in beautiful Barcelona
and you said you thought trees were gods
because they were rooted in earth
and flew in the air and magically made food
out of light and made the air we breathe.

I was stunned how you could open up a God-space
just like that. Like when my 2-year-old dug holes
in the yard and fit his face into each of them to see,
as he explained, if he could find where the darkness
came from. Then you asked me why I never prayed.

I believe whatever disappears or survives
or comes into being is a prayer that’s already
been answered, and that we feel alone
because we won’t let go of what is gone
or changed or hasn’t happened yet.

Waking this morning with my arms around you,
the dogs snoring, and a mourning dove cooing,
I felt I awoke in a peaceable kingdom
where the fear of death turned inside-out
into a love for life. If I prayed, I’d pray for that for you.


Note: Thanks to the writer Jim Cornfield (“Living History,” Continental, 8/08) for this poem’s title

by Jack Myers

as heard on Texas Poets Podcast, 2016





I'd like to leave
an imprint
on the world
lighter than
I'd formerly meant.
Just a scent,
not the thud
of the thing
steaming on a plate.

Instead of "I told you so!"
let my epitaph be
the glance, the edge,
the mist. The delicately
attenuated swirl
of an innuendo
instead of the thunderhead.

The rain that fell
when I was ambitiouis
seemed conspiringly rushed
in my way. But the same rain
today tastes of her and now
because of where it's been.

I'd like to be gentle
with small, great things.
They are larger
than what we think
we came here for.
I'd like to be an eye of light
that opens the air
and burns beyond ambition,
like the sun that can't see us
and is beyond our human reach,
yet is in us trillions of times over.

by Jack Myer
as heard on Texas Poets Podcast, 2016