For Mark Strand


Author’s Note: Mark Strand, a fantastic poet, died this past Saturday, November 29. He is, and will continue to be, an influence on me and my own style, and I hope to do him justice, not just in this commemorative poem, but in everything I write. RIP.

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041011.mark-strand

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Flowers hold libraries

of unassuming knowledge.

In heaven’s heart, I hear, there is a garden

with a unique talent for messing with the sun.

Some of the flowers opt to enhance the glitter of golden rays;

others prefer to make the sun look not like the sun at all,

and still others dress it up like the moon.

Each flower’s spirit

is as clear and weary as the spirit of heaven itself

and as broken and tormented as any soul in hell.

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Whenever a flower dies, it falls to the ground

with enough thunder to shoot a shudder through all of creation.

It is a thunder potent enough that the other flowers

must bow their heads to weep.

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Fortunately,

each passing flower inspires libraries more,

so that glowing petals will make it immortal

and the garden in heaven will never stop expanding,

and can joyfully mess with the sun

to its heart’s content.

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