Douglas Barbour: Three poems


            for Tom Pow

where they come from    Tom
	its a kind of map pal
		(& to track those lines across yr open hand reaching

as we each drive to the edge
	landscape or language
		where horizon rides the winds favours

we re together here     as you say
	saying the words we need
		to get there again

green enclosures, moist breeze soft
	against your face /     unfolding prairie
		wind cutting ice from the mountains

				a hello trails across oceans

falls one white flake at a time
caught brilliance in the streetlamps glow high above

& look how the page takes shape there
	that single thistle     shining  ideogram
		green imprint on the opening field


If no ones present presence presents a vertical
movement the absent i partakes of sky spreading
(thats not sprawl all gone into the world of light or
dark hills hiding the just folks he paddled away from
every chance he got reds deep blues seize the day / light
slowly its taken 70 years now fading over the water
the leaves colour theres that rock at the bottom of
everything were supposed to pay no attention &
away away the lone line leaps beyond the frame up
toward the sky he you i drowned in is that ice
ice or only a reflection the reception of that gone
time hand moving on the waters continues

            The National Gallery, Ottawa


My friend moon
I pulled a leaf
from the tree
to see you

[pulled the water
closer too   a thief
spills it    the leaf
floats] better

`the gift of your poems' and `for L.N.' appeared in Nimrod. `Tom Thomason: `The Jack Pine' 1916-1917' appeared in West Coast Line.