The wild rose summer’s flower along the fading path grows sweet though it only lives & dies to itself & spring’s unseen trilliums in forest shade are lost only to us if the haste of our lives won’t let us pass Such flamboyance draws things on delicate wings & never goes to waste though like grass soon withering
The scientist in lab coat or hip-waders knows to seek meaning in what he observes The poet suspects the right metaphors await her astir in stream glisten afloat in pond stillness asleep in forest glade for nature makes nothing in vain Colour & camouflage ash & flame seem ready to re-ignite as we listen
the morning when she finds the tomb empty leaps from her the way the first spry geyser sprang from the Titanic. She bangs her knee and ducks to look again. Her adviser, John, warned her it was dangerous to come. Holed up behind locked doors, the gang of guys who claimed to love him. She runs her thumb across the ledge where his dead body lies.
Or rather doesn’t. Her heart’s a cypress forming a final growth ring, final grief: his body gone, his lithe hand, the small scar from the sharp chisel. To what can she say yes? Who is she now? Where to put belief? Her cry gashes the fragile morning air.
My head clangs, my skin congeals when I imagine your final terrain: the moldering gloom of the cave, giant stone corking the mouth to seal your body in— you bid me to imitate you, even in this? Until you rise, Love, I am useless. Stretching in a long rectangle of wall-shade, I pretend my hand crumbles dank sepulchral dirt. Listen. In the corner, one cricket abides. Soft-shelled and tooth-white, he chirrs his dwarfed wings, persistent song his answer to the absence of light.
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).