The elba texts


Lance Henson


arriving in late afternoon
silence hanging from the fishing nets

now the half moonlight glistens on the trees

so many frontiers to cross
the shadows of so many on one side
their silenced bodies on the other

i find solace in the small hand that fits into
my own

a birds voice falls into the darkened leaves …


i remember a hard rain falling on the futureless harbor
a ship filled
with insinuating eyes and tired languages.

near midnight a dog barks at a wildness
that simply watches
and stars whose lights
refuse to die
long after their breath has disappeared … …


waiting near dawn
here is my voice that cannot sing to you

this way is the way to the sea
we will be there
when the shattered glass and soundless bells

drift ashore from albania

the broken animals and broken trees
looking back from the same place with the same eyes

humans are the only ones who pray for themselves … …


early summer
small owls are sitting where the moon will pass
between two willow trees

a bell ringing near midnight

in bethlehem the same bell sounds
over the starving
and forsaken
the faithless and the faithfull

wings of light and tears flying away

the mirrors are full of hands and prayers reaching out
from the other side
so near

no one believes what they see
so they live

in a remembered sorrow … …


waiting for the moon.. i rest with your name in my hands..
you are sleeping now.. far from the doors of snow..
the chaff of the moon fills the valley.. with its flowers of sea wind and its gloves that have let go the fallen..
i take into my breath their names their hopes..when you awaken I will give them to you … …

live with your hands open to hold the ones no one remembers.. in remembrance of their voices their eyes.. each day the empty cups from which they drank will be a river from which you can drink.. and you will never be alone … …

casa castiglioncello
san martino
isola di elba

© 1998 Lance Henson

Return to the Lance Henson website