PLAYS HIS HORN (1976)
The mist settles on the Manhattan skyline
not far from the East River ---
it is early on a Sunday morning,
the streets are empty.
The soulful echoes of a trumpet
command the silence ---
one man’s narrative for the moment,
whether anyone is listening or not,
eternity unfolds: when the man plays his horn
someone does hear in his melodies
the hope and fear and love and loss
all jamming together
because he has been there
because he has offered
what he knew to offer.
He tells me it is just him, groping for his purpose
or even a direction he might stumble upon
aiming his horn at the tallest of the buildings
closing his eyes so that
in his mind
and only what he plays remains.
Skirting the high land of Wyoming (New York)
the translucent emerald water
rushes beneath me.
I never sleep, driving my truck
all day and all night.
Exhausted, I wandered for years
along the back roads
depicting a universe
where men need security,
not target practice.
In a desperate, last battle
I surrendered to sanity, and
built a small cabin in the woods.
There, I spend many years
caring for my children,
to the chickadees, picking
and keeping them
in a cup of water
on my writing table.
How often in the night
I wake up and remember in detail
another universe in which to live.
Born in 1945, S. R. Lavin has been widely published
in the U.S. as well as in England, China, Poland, Israel and The
Netherlands. Among his books are THE STONECUTTERS AT WAR WITH THE
CLIFF DWELLERS (Heron Press, 1971), I AND YOU (an original version
of Martin Buber’s Ich und Du), THE SAGA OF METACOMET, and
JOURNEY TO A LONE STAR (Four Zoas Press, 1976), BIG MEADOW/NEW RIVER
(Jerusalem House, 1978). He is a member of the TWELVE TRIBES community
and he travels to do workshops and give poetry readings.