Poetry by Roger Weaver

Poems by Roger Weaver


Reading the Stones


Obsidian quilts the land,
a tilt from asphalt. Get down
to the stone skeleton,
the inerodable integrity waiting
under conversations of weather.
   (from Reading the Stones...)

Beethoven Was Deaf

Between the farthest word
and the nearest star
hang oceans of verbs.

Unseen Sequoias still towering
among us, the silences
of the first beast
to think of a word,
of the Indian orators,
of the first Jew
to understand the Nazis,
of Beethoven, listening.

(Published in The Orange and Other Poems)


Wheat Harvest, Late August

When I see fields of wheat rolling like
the waves of a golden sea, I wait.
Maybe my family will gather for the harvest
again, my father and uncles, mother and aunts,
proud of the tables they spread.
It was good, that life. The men may ride the horses naked into the river after a hot day's work, or cousins play an endless game
of ally-ally-oxen-free, or swim together
in dammed-up creeks.

Nothing can bump me now
off a notion of what heaven
is like, or could be.


The Orange

You were not born to this life
for any one else. Prize this
knowing like a fresh orange
in a famine. You'll see.
People will try to take it
from you, especially if you hold it
tight to yourself. But if you toss it
laughing to the sun and it rolls back
to you on the blue air, they
will think it is only an orange ball.
Then the children will want it,
and they always give it back,
eyes shining above their holy smiles.

(from The Orange and Other Poems, 1978)


Become Adam

Bless light
see what is as it is
and know that is right
before you say
how the names go --
water beading on hands,
bird flight,
the blue in snow. 

  (from Twenty-One Waking Dreams, 1985.)


In Praise of Madwomen

who blew down the walls within me,
called up blood like wine--
o they worked miracles
(water into wine nothing for them).
I've know one to slip from her skin
and dance public and beautiful
(walking on water nothing to her)
or call me to dance miles away.
I confess: I have not always, or well.
But since that first grade girlfriend
broke her umbrella over my head
(rainwater nothing to her),
I've know they were up to something
interesting. Maybe in love with mad-
women, I'm finally paying up
with this blown kiss
(but no man can anoint them).

(from Traveling on the Great Wheel, 1990.)