Sunday, May 24, 2020

Revisions of Home, Stones and Stars

Hi Carole, 

The site remains down, but Curt was able to retrieve a portion of text from a backup.

Below is a poem you wrote to Donna when her first husband died.


Revisions of home.
Books on the mantel.
Chair of ten years.
Dust, the old thumbprints.

Not unusual,
this life after death.
What connects all things:
either habit,
the daily routine
that binds two people
when one is gone

Or an energy
the survivor sits with
in a dark corner talking;

the spirit struggling
to live through all it had known,
until even
these pieces of furniture

seem drained,
no longer practical?

Answers never come.
the acceptance
of this fact –

then the slow beginning
of nothing familiar,
changes that had never
stopped coming,
distance and its evidence –

until like a dream of a woman
being pulled back,
unable to continue running,
the memory rolls over
gently, lifeless.
Carole Leslie Marcus, 1977


Dedicated to sons Joshua and Daniel Abril

Either tumbled or thrown, they must learn how to fall
without breaking. For them, there is always that falling,

that breaking down, that struggle of a born-backward growth
from boulders to stones. But first they must learn

how to skid water three leaps at a time, how to assimilate
as chalk on someone’s sidewalk, and how to lie, still as stones,

on an old woman’s patio collecting soot and dust. While
once they held the weight of the world on the tips

of their shoulders, they have settled, lump backed,
in community corners, waiting to turn into sand,

and in that way be blown toward oblivion
through the fingers of children.

Carole Leslie Marcus

Before Stars

Before there were stars night was an eyeless staring
with nowhere to look leading into, unmapped by any chart

and always losing itself. Because of this, women were born,
formed from the faces of candles, gasoline lanterns, or

kerosene lights, with nothing to see looking onto,
and which night knew nothing about from its distance.

Then came their flames rising like points from their
blind spots, forming stars, which night looking out of was seen

seeing women.

Carole Leslie Marcus


Your books on the front porch resound of you,
poetry, fertile sparse pages, all come inside.

I select for your children the practical: dictionaries,
a thesaurus, books about Einstein and seashells

How proud you’d be as they leave for college
two brothers together, you and I sisters instead

We too once trounced to school, an inspiring 

universe, hand in hand, 
to renew ourselves in each other

Listen! I hear you reading, your diction perfect, 

like royalty even as your world caves in

Then your children off on bicycles,
or maybe worse, with questionable buddies

While you struggle against the blinding white 

of day, trampled bones, renegade blood 

The assaults upon you unyielding,
cherished echoes of family undone

Bright possibilities pushed aside, until near end
you find yourself again, effervescent, aglow

And then you were gone, died so suddenly,
and I am left with only half of myself.
Hope Marcus
12 August 2003


Your dawning silhouette spreads like a river through my 
slotted window blinds opened each night 
so the morning will find you.

You come not from the obscure, disguised as footprints 
along the waters edge, or as imprints on a moist grassy

But from brightening horizons, your brilliance camouflaged in 
sunrise and sunsets,hues of pink and orange that I cannot touch 
or embrace as I comb wispy plains for a trace of you.

A whisper, a breath before you again dissipate into 

invisible dimensions now closed to me even though 
we always travelled together to the end of our worlds.

Hope Marcus, Nov. 2002

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