Two Poems by Gary Snyder and one by Lew Welsh
For Lew Welsh in a Snowfall
Snowfall in March:
I sit in the white glow reading a thesis
About you. Your poems, your life.
The author’s my student,
He even quotes me.
Forty years since we joked in a kitchen in Portland
Twenty since you disappeared.
All those years and their moments—
Crackling bacon, slamming car doors,
Poems tried out on friends,
Will be one more archive,
One more shaky text.
But life continues in the kitchen
Where we still laugh and cook,
Lew Welch just turned up one day,
live as you and me. “Damn, Lew” I said,
“you didn’t shoot yourself after all.”
“Yes I did” he said,
and even then I felt the tingling down my back.
“Yes you did, too” I said—”I can feel it now.”
“Yeah” he said,
“There’s a basic fear between your world and
mine. I don’t know why.
What I came to say was,
teach the children about the cycles.
The life cycles. All other cycles.
That’s what it’s all about, and it’s all forgot.”
I saw Myself
I saw myself
a ring of bone
in the clear stream
of all of it
always to be open to it
that all of it
might flow through
and then heard
“ring of bone” where
ring is what a
by Lew Welsh
from Ring of Bone