GERALD HOPMAN                   Home       Poems 1956-2012       Latest Works       Bio       Statement      Contact

Book of Portents or Endings

each clue or note
from pen or throat
awaits its turn
to flow or burn




jump over the roses
be still near the lillies
treasure the ferns

are we being tested yet?

are beasts sniffing in wonder at our new found hatred?
are the hills blackened by our cold cold staring?
are we separate from the glories of reeds and bark?
is water no longer the fount of our myths and prayers?

cover the lilacs
make a home for the daisies
go forth sprinkling marigolds and ashes
     one atop the other

are we permitted yet to look back and recall what once was?




so what is  from  what was     is all

nothing and no one
on or over the edge

no realm beyond the expected waiting to be mapped

no thought to master the vapors of wonderment

no poet blindly invading the space between commas
 for unknown treasure

no artist chipping out bits of rainbows and starlight to make---remake
patterns and objects more enchanting than their sources

no voice struggling for music to carry the truth of the world’s
 redemption being ever at hand through the magic of simple justice

give up   give in
its under the covers up to the chin
what else to do but sleep away
both night and day

lay down      lay down



in the quickening darkness

whispers  footfalls  sighs   shadows

a child wondrously fulfilled by a tapping finger

old men dragging their wares uphill
each alone with his song

women whirling about in a last call to dance

away away not far away
three moons   a star  the churning of life between
advancing     retreating

colors    a tunnel   rain   faces

silence   stillness
field upon field  untouched by anyone   or thing

flowers painted into place

a voice
heed and speed
from weed to weed

bushes parting
tracks   knives   feathers    golden seeds

a bridge over rising waters
planks rotted daring to be crossed

a  landing   courtyards
flames welcoming or warning whomever

a wall   ribbons   bells     paper
drifting from above into waiting urns

a voice
none shall come   no one goes
sadness then wildly grows

eyes seeking eyes closing  on a tower

windows aglitter   frames blackened  splintered
curtains silken   ragged   faded
corridors lit  unlit  twisting  circling
narrowing     descending


Scratched and tacked onto hallway doors


No mix the same as another  room after room

Arrows signaling    enter here?        pass  by?

a voice
now comes the task
when to answer    how to ask

                                                  a voice
oh you turners and spurners
you thunderers and blunderers
lie where you will
forever still


Groups into crowds  rushing  leaping  stumbling
halting as one

gentle movements   bowing   whistling   reaching out
as when survivors meet with those who hope

a bridge swaying swaying  swaying
maintaing barely for a crossing over    or back

in the distance skeletons of towers
readied for completion or tumbling into dust



SIX A.M.   ( muse themes)

keepers    sorters       from skies to waters
faces      traces     places
                          sewn together   feather by feather
talon     paw     and more
a song
light filling eyes with the history
        of its journey
the first or last turn of a leaf
angels’ hands on scraps of canvas    fading
dust clinging to ancient treasure
a lion’s full mouth emptied    dry
an answer connecting earth and fire and
          the wounds of the day
the holding off of laughter’s end
the gift of wandering through another’s
           fears         and loves
a glimmer   flutter   snap   chaos into promise
    words    tokens                      food            distances



sweet are the children who tumble together

brave are the old who chatter and pry

rich are the sons who flee within

sure are the daughters who flourish untamed

wise are the poor who straggle and play

fierce are the rulers who wonder no more

true are the godly awakened by tears




haste  haste
life is displaced
days are nights
depths are heights
lies reside
side by side
haste  haste
gods are chased
who then dwells
under bells?
he or she
yet to be

© Hopman
     GERALD HOPMAN                   Home       Poems 1956-2012       Latest Works       Bio       Statement      Contact