Landscape With Figures By Carlos Bulosan - Poem by RIC BASTASA
Homeward again under foreign stars,
history was a strange gush of wind from memory
that came to echo waterfalls of those years:
home to find the place lost among
galaxies of signs. The hills were gone. The river
trail was forgotten... Trying to remember meadowlark
and those who perished in the vanishing land
(bones in the earth where our parents died poor) ,
the journey fell into heavy tides of flowing
scorn that echoed and reechoed time there.
The sun was most unkind to the place:
history: names of men: patterns of life:
all that distant floodtide heaved and moved,
breaking familiar names that immortal tongues
clipped for the heart to cry, 'Home is a foreign address,
every step toward it is a step toward three hundred years
of exile from the truth...'
It was not homeward
to the first known land, nor escape
to white sea sprays blossoming on inland shore,
nor love leaping the boundaries naked in the soul,
but a vast heritage of war and destruction breaking
too soon for the living and willing to die.
Life is a foreign language. Every man mispronounced it...
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