Poems by Robin Chapman + Photogravures by Peter Miller
The following poems and photogravures originally appeared in Dappled Things by Robin Chapman and Peter Miller (Paris: Revue K, 2013): poems by Robin Chapman and photogravures by Peter Miller, copyright 2013 by the author and artist, all rights reserved.
Always the world-spun light casts patterns raveled through the wind-thrown clouds, the forest’s branch-broken loom, across the hoof-scraped moss and snow-banks, the backs of browsing mule deer whose swiveling ears listen for the whispered sound of the tawny cougar’s padding walk. Dark and light, sleep and wake and dream course through our lives to make us what we are—sun and shadow-clothed, bedrock and layers of fertile soil, green climb and blight of history, wind-taken, time-wound and wounded, heart-bound to world’s warp and weft.
Carried Away. Yoshino, Japan, 2004.
Out of dream sleep, deep sleep, dawn embers flare, rinsing star sky, setting shadows fleeing across the landscape that wakes now not to sun’s single eye but cloud-breath, leaf sigh, soaked field, spider-web; dowsed light igniting mist, tree, the woman bending to the weed-work of day.
Morning Glory. Arughat, Nepal, 2008.
What’s native? This stretch of yard once marsh fringed by tall-grass prairie, fire-swept, drained to re-emerge in cherry, hickory, oak all felled for lumber, fallow in winter, tilled to cornfield fringing the edge of town—come house, grass, elms, honeysuckle border creeping in—now we machete-slash the stems of indigo, beebalm, asters and goldenrod for slow compost, clear so that the tender crocus, scilla, and daffodils will lift their faces through leaf drift to the early bees and each of us weary of winter sleep.
Ozenuma. Ozenuma, Japan, 1994.
I watch the black crow, wing-wrenched, walking on snow—how we can go on, go on, memory-borne, through cold, through wind’s work, loved world, till owl-dusk or fox-dawn. I want to walk with my friends through broken-winged days, want words to lift us back to the ordinary air, to spare us pain. I want the words, when time comes, to speak by our graves, to comfort the living, honor the dead, lay each of us to rest earth-borne, shroud-wound or wind-kissed, grateful for life’s brief flight of joy, light-blest.
Beyond the Sunset. Nagano, Japan, 2008.
Who Knows How
this life goes on as we step and turn, looking into each other’s face as the fiddle music plays the fluent syncopation of the hambo waltz, our center of gravity holding between us, anchored as weight shifts from me to you and back again as we turn and spin, turn and spin—music holding us in its arms.