Continuum, p.1
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       Continuum, p.1

           Steven Federle
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  Poems for Autumn, 2011

  Steven Federle


  Continuum 3

  Failure 4

  Down a Bright Way 4

  Psalm 4

  blows the wind 5

  In the End


  Silent Watcher 6

  Second Death 6

  First Rain 7

  turbulence 7

  I’ll Fill the Sky 8

  Our Love 8

  Shoemaker 9

  the 1% 10

  Poet in the Coffee Shop 10

  October 10

  Oktober 10

  The Spider's Web


  Das Spinnennetz 11

  Night Fog


  Miracle of the Geese 12

  Wunder der Gänse! 12

  Black Night 12

  Schwarze Nacht 13

  Черная ночь 13

  Brief Day Ends 14

  Occupy Oakland 14

  Bezetzen Oakland 15

  Wilma’s Welcome 15

  Prayer for All Souls 15

  Storm on Hunter's Hill 16

  Advice for a Madman 16

  Ratschläge für einen Madman 16

  Nocturne November 16

  Immanence 17

  Simplicity 18

  Sable Hills 18


  My breath rises

  to the edge of space

  and pauses

  at the nexus of perfection,

  then falls,

  driven by waves of fire,

  by strong hands guided

  through dust and rain,

  through ice, through

  the shining


  to my upturned face

  where a single drop dies

  and fills me with

  the storm’s desire.


  The leaves are falling too early!

  Strewn, green and pliant,

  they drift to summer lawns

  to wither and die.

  Oh, heavily falls failure when,

  not yet the season of death,

  impatient winds tear and shred,

  suck dry life's tender


  Down a Bright Way

  Close to the center, 

  near to where silence

  fills my straining ears,

  where long years

  of searching end, 

  I find you waiting

  my old friend. 

  You take my hand

  and in a glance

  know all.

  Without a word

  down a bright way

  we walk.


  You say

  "be not afraid"

  yet this darkness is


  A well of silence lies

  beneath my feet

  as I try to feel

  my way back to you.

  How can I be brave

  when all around me I hear

  rivers of anguish, tears

  over-flow life’s banks?

  Terror fills the sky

  in dark flashes

  as my sight declines,

  and endless night

  encroaches on the edge

  of vision.

  Will you lift me

  if I stumble

  and fall?

  Oh, call softly

  and with seeing

  fingers I'll find

  your healing

  hands again.

  blows the wind

  blows the wind

  by winter

  enthralled, trees

  shed at end

  of day, end

  of summer

  world fall filled,

  newly chilled,

  crescent moon


  all too soon.

  In the End

  In the end

  will I rise

  like cranes flying

  through obdurate fog,

  keen eyes splitting milky sky,

  swimming the windy sea

  to clearer air beyond

  high dawn's



  Silent Watcher

  Silent watcher,

  see how the sun pales,

  as gray clouds enshroud

  jaded day?

  Just tell me that you love me,

  and I'll breathe you

  a new world.

  The fiery bird

  will rise

  impossibly high

  into the leaden sky.


  as I fill your eyes

  with desire!

  Second Death


  "All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,

  From whose embrace no mortal can escape.

  Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

  Happy those she finds doing your will!

  The second death can do them no harm."  

                                     from The Canticle of the Creatures, by St. Francis of Assisi    

  In the darkness of noon

  proud souls decline

  from glittering heights

  to October's stark truth.  

  Sacred fire ignites

  their hopeless, sad flight

  into sin and self-


  St. Francis Day, October 4, 2011

  First Rain

  black spots

  on pavement gray


  filled full,

  candescent day

  overburdened sky

  no longer




  layer upon layer

  pounding out


  charged and ready to strike,

  cold winds blow,

  bright rains ache

  ready to flow.

  I’ll Fill the Sky

  I'll fill the sky

  with my desire.

  With heart of fire 

  I'll scorch the pride

  that binds you in fear.

  The withering sun

  I'll quench with your tears, 

  and shed my blood, 

  in a cleansing flood of 


  ending love.

  Our Love


  flashing in your eyes,

  wind in your hair, gleaming

  moon, passion


  It remains

  deep in my heart;

  unquenched desire,

  our love's constant fire.



  The children watch his hands

  strain against leather, tug

  tough hide, obdurate skin,

  once supple and alive,

  now stiff and dry,

  see how his patience

  like love,

  wears death down

  until new shoes grow

  in his strong hands.

  They learn to bend

  life's refuse

  to new use

  how being

  always finds


  Thus, in lines of memory

  we measure our days.

  The ancestors guide us

  as we build new form

  from old tears,

  and our children


  and learn.

  ------------------------------------Shoemaker, Hung Liu, 1999, oil on canvas, Crocker Art Muse
um, Sacramento CA


  the 1%

  blaring train

  declaring right-


  elephantine, cyclopean,

  crushing our lives

  with their money,

  their bloody truth

  strangling the sighs

  of the repossessed

  as wall street swells

  with the cries of

  the dispossessed.

  Poet in the Coffee Shop

  new brew

  roasting, flowing

  aroma rolling




  grinding, growling

  out fresh


  and you,

  awash in lilting

  ballads, consuming


  across the room.

  Just keep your eyes down

  on your honeyed-


  frenzied bees

  that buzz,

  and to song



  Bright sun streams

  pure golden breeze.

  Green day fades,

  red sun decays.

  Pale moon flies

  into winter's dull light.


  Helle Sonne Ströme

  reine goldene Brise.

  Grüner Tag verblasst,

  rote Sonne nachlässt.

  Blassen Mond Fliegen

  in Winter ist trübes Licht.

  The Spider's Web

  The spider's web drifts,

  abandoned, useless,

  high in the window 

  bright in the setting sun,

  close to a world in motion

  but not a part of it. 

  Not immersed in the savage flow,

  it is protected from wild birds 

  that caw in the swaying tree

  peering down

  at creatures bound to solid, 

  unmoving ground.

  Their motion 

  is sacred motion,

  but the web just aimlessly stirs

  in a lesser, interior breeze 

  always on the edge 

  of the living sea

  held fast by stasis 

  of gravity.

  Das Spinnennetz

  Das Spinnennetz driftet,

  aufgegeben, nutzlos,

  hoch in das Fenster

  hell in der untergehenden Sonne,

  in der Nähe einer Welt in Bewegung

  aber nicht ein Teil von ihr.

  Nicht in den wilden Fluss getaucht,

  es ist von Wildvögeln geschützt

  dass caw in den schwankenden Baum

  Peering unten

  bei Lebewesen gebunden an feste,

  unbewegten Boden.

  ihre Bewegung

  heilig ist Bewegung,

  aber das Web nur ziellos weckt

  in einem inneren Brise

  immer auf der Kante

  des lebendigen Meer

  hielt durch Stase

  der Schwerkraft.

  Night Fog

  Fog rises 

  to black space.

  The sea


  the sky. 

  Vapors swamp

  unsuspecting stars.

  Ethereal waves 


  against night's

  mystic shore.

  Miracle of the Geese

  The Catholic school children gather

  obedient to the bell, silent, waiting

  for morning prayers 

  to begin another day,

  when geese 

  race suddenly above

  tight formation crossing the 

  playground, stroking high air, shattering 

  our discipline with lusty 

  call, savage 


  And the children, 

  raising their arms to heaven, 

  shout in praise 

  at the wonder and glory, 

  the holy presence 


  the miracle of the geese!

  Wunder der Gänse!

  Die katholische Schulkinder sammeln

  Gehorsam gegenüber der Glocke, schwieg und wartete

  für Morgengebet

  beginnen an einem anderen Tag,

  wenn Gänse

  Rennen plötzlich oben

  enger Formation über den

  Spielplatz, streicheln hohe Luft-und zerschmetterte

  unsere Disziplin mit kräftigen

  rufen, wilde


  Und die Kinder,

  mit erhobenen Armen in den Himmel,

  schreien in Lob

  an das Wunder und die Herrlichkeit,

  der heiligen Gegenwart


  das Wunder der Gänse!

  Black Night

  Black night 

  shrouds my sight,

  stills to silence

  my failing breath.

  Do you recall how,

  by fierce day consumed,

  passion's eye conveyed

  love's light

  deep into our beating hearts?

  Glance up!

  Oh, stretch back your neck,


  your sleepy eyes

  and see how the tree,

  thrusting to sky 

  dark branches, dons 

  the starry cloak 

  of night.

  Schwarze Nacht

  Schwarze Nacht

  Wanten meinen Augen,

  Stills zum Schweigen

  mein Fehler Atem.

  Erinnern Sie sich, wie

  durch einen scharfen Tag verbraucht,

  Leidenschaft das Auge vermittelt

  Liebe Licht

  tief in unser schlagenden Herzen?

  Blick auf!

  Oh, strecken den Hals zurück,


  Ihre müden Augen

  und sehen, wie der Baum,

  Stoßen zum Himmel

  dunkle Geäst, dons

  den Sternenhimmel Mantel

  der Nacht.

  Черная ночь

  Черная ночь

  кожухи мой взгляд,

  кадры, чтобы заставить замолчать

  мой отсутствии дыхания.

  Вы помните, как,

  жестокими потребляется день,

  глаза страсти передал

  любви свет

  глубоко в наших сердцах избиение?

  Взгляд вверх!

  О, уходят на шее,


  ваши сонные глаза

  и посмотреть, как дерево,

  засовывая в небо

  темные ветви, надевает

  плащ звездное


  Brief Day Ends

  October slips

  past golden hills

  as traffic

  through the narrow valley slides,

  glittering serpent


  past thrashing grass

  while high atop the street lamp,

  stands the black vulture,

  wings extending

  massive and dark

  and still,


  this new season

  of death.

  Kurze Tag Endet

  Oktober rutscht

  vergangenen goldenen Hügel

  als Verkehr

rch das enge Tal gleitet,

  glitzernde Schlange


  durch Prügel Gras

  während hoch oben auf der Straßenlaterne,

  steht der schwarze Geier,

  Flügel Erweiterung,

  massiv und dunkel

  und dennoch,


  die neue Saison

  des Todes.

  Occupy Oakland

  Shouts in the night, chanting

  streets, red streams, white

  gas seeping through your skin,

  your ears exploding with flash-bang

  shells landing past the trembling camera

  to where he lies, fallen Marine, wide eyed, stunned, 

  skull-split victim of this American night.

  Just follow their money 

  to the headwaters of their greed

  and you will see how they rage

  against your need 

  until, at last, 

  it's your blood

  they wish 

  to drink.

  Bezetzen Oakland

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