Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

In the Round Ruins

Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

In the Round Ruins

Article excerpt

   In the round rains voices have attached themselves to the wind    and are rising toward the impenetrable     blueness of a four-corner sky.    But the voices are old and cannot call down the sun    and the ruins laugh, and the ground drinks up the feeble     wisp of rain.     In the round ruins dust is the end result of all     the labor of centuries    that was not labor but the mere passage of time,     marked by men in daily    actions    and never laid out to dry like skins were or the rinds of fruits    but sumply gathered together into a     single basket and buried in the cool    earth.     In the round ruins there are now Catholic dead     rising to take notes    and they write down the many wonderful colors     that transform the red stone    as the sun circles the earth, and, for them, it     can do no more. But they are    caught    off guard by the sudden fire that climbs from the     landscape onto their robes.     In the round ruins a boy jumps from the remnants of     a wall reconstructed    with concrete, over the broken doorway of a sacred entrance,    and sings because there are no neighbors near enough to     hear or be    bothered    and his parents wait in the car, not     knowing that his face burns.     In the round ruins there is a hole in the     center of the roofless kiva    but it has been filled with rocks and dust,     and the sun cannot find it    but climbs over the old walls and down along     the darkened sides, and    searches    when no one is here for the telling, for its     way back into this world. 

George Moore's two collections of poetry are The Long Way Around (Wyndham Hill, 1992) and The Petroglyphs of Wedding Rocks and Other Poems (Mellen Press, 1997). His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, Southern Poetry Review, Minnesota Review, and Chariton Review. His book-length critical study of Gertrude Stein was published in 1998. …

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