Friday, April 29, 2011

marilyn bowering: about your name


If you wish to think about what is invisible,
you start with a loved one,

with their essence, with the touch of lips
in actuality or in potential: as beginning with

electrons and moving to electricity,
and the hydro electric dams on the rivers,

and the changes of names they undergo
according to politics -- that is, you ignore history.

As to the way things are -- this is intelligible
only through a vision of you.

Marvellous colours that are invisible except
to the naked eye, unseen by electronic pulses,

or by mirrors, or by angels talking and drawing
each other's pictures,

unseen by all except me, who happened to find you
in the right place and time.

Because when I look at you I seem to see nothing:
I see the sweetness and light that is above

and beyond all mirrors or the hair combing of angels,
or the polishings of motor cars and mountain bicycles:

it is greatest because it is the simplest, and because it is full
like the air, of the intention to touch.

For that which is most actual is you when I see you
and when I am with you.

You ask how this came about:
it is a question of grace, not practice,

a step in the right direction by chance, 
a desire, not thought.

And I meditated on the mind's ascent to love
the whole world before me, and all the roads,

and I waited for you.

Bowering, Marilyn. "About Your Name" Introductions: Poets Present Poets. Markham: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, 2001.