Sunday, March 11, 2007

Throw Your Rockets Far

I shall not tell you Aaron at eight
Somewhere we walk in the yellow grass;
The sky huge, but our feet owning each step.
Somewhere we hear the shorebird’s cry
From a beach in Africa we never left.
Somewhere we are shaman, warrior, gatherer,
Women and men intimate with our past.

No, I shall not tell you Aaron at eight
What at eight you simply feel
On your lawn at dusk when you throw a bottle rocket
With a warrior’s grace -- and hard at the moon.


Rebecca said...

I love this poem. At the beginning I'm somewhere and it is in the last line that the whole picture is displayed. I remember those days. I love the historical reference you give them!

Paul said...

Thank you for your kind words! This is one of my favorite poems, Rebecca, and I think one of my best.

It begins deep in our past, when our species was born in Africa. And I personally believe we have in many ways never left the yellow grasses of Africa --- after all, our very nature is rooted in our ancestors who lived there.

But I can't explain the poem any better than it explains itself. When Aaron was eight, he seemed to me both true to his own nature, and in a larger sense, true to human nature. (He still does.) There is about him a timelessness, a quality of being fully authentic. I don't know how well the poem captures that, but it is always worth the effort to try to capture something as beautiful as Aaron's spirit.