1. BEGINNING AGAIN (May 12, 1988)

My life starts again, I think creakily, the old wheel turning

here, in this bare, clean room
in Vancouver
in a university residence.

There's a bed,
a desk, a chair, a bookcase.

I sit on the bed, reading
the Cantos of Ezra Pound.

Outside my window
a man and a woman talk
beyond my hearing

hands gesturing
a visible language.
Blossoms drift down
(cherry? peach?)
on green grass.

The late afternoon
sun is drawing water.

Always I like to come back
to these university days
in the May of life

a succession of Spartan rooms
with a few books

papers on the floor,
maybe an apple to eat.

I remember myself (mainly)
as a happy student
though I know I wasn't always

(that great ache of loneliness,
the weight of youth;
smell of magnolias
sweet and sensuous
on a hot Indiana night
drenched with moonlight)

but this part of it was good:
the book of poetry
(more likely MacNeice or Auden
back then)
with a pen to mark the best bits,
the apple,
the sense of time expanding:

all the books of the world to read and some to write

Elizabeth Brewster
Saskatoon, Sask.
(from Garden Cantos: A Month of Poems)

Back Contents Next