Treasure Island

Ed Roberson

(1948 / Pittsburgh / United States)

A Low Bank of Cloud


But for a low bank of cloud,
clear morning, empty sky.
The bright band of light beneath the cloud's gray
I thought at first was open distance, but it's ice
that by extension raised the lake above the lip of blue lake
and spilled it farther out than that horizon
along the sky
and floods the clouds.
Seeing the distant level further
unfurl into the sky says not to trust
blue line as terminus
when a meniscus of ice
can ride up that wall of the skyline,
a measure of illusion how close
the eye can be to filled
with seeing, to widen instead the tube of that measure
of sight we are given. There is the larger
lake the wider look we open
eyes to see. That glance of the lip
put in a bigger cylinder falls away,
but how much deeper the spring
to fill the cup.
As if the surface we are seeing
drops the more seeing is added,
while we feel the stories well as our height
from which to see. And watch the dawns coming.
…I seem to be emptying
of time the more time I put in,
and see like a man with weathered eyes enough
to face to face up to the sight's field expanded
to insight. To the dark the lake can turn
and curl up like a map for poems to have
these likenesses to graph,
then come un-scrolled from semblance back
to just this lake. Water
cities are led to layout
beside. But never in stillness;
always the restoration to change,
from ice, from cloud, turning to clear
liquid—as is most of our body
water— thinned sheet, layer
that if written on or with, a bearing
a name chiseled on water
disappears.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, April 01, 2014

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