Meditation in Gold and Indigo

Jane Craven


A firework explodes into a chrysanthemum
above the urban pasture where we watch
the blasts clear the skyline.

                                           Figures in lawn chairs,
children with parents, a dog cleaving close to its owner,
lovers entwined. They appear as shades, their limbs
made of night, nearly merging with the grass.

A pause, then a great pinwheel unspools above us.
Amplified sputters and ratatatats ricochet off buildings
and continue to sound after the last filaments
streak downward and darken.

When the pilgrims sailed from Southampton,
it took a week to lose sight of land.
I think of them gazing out at their past,
a disappearing slice of rock in an oily sea,
knowing that we, too, live with the irretrievable.

Behind me, in a window on a tower’s top floor
there is a man whom I first mistake for a plant,
until he shifts slightly, probably the night
watchman taking in the view.

                                                I try to recall
the symbolism of the chrysanthemum, something
about petals turning inward or outward.
Something about night breaking open.