The Muse

(An International Journal of Poetry)

Volume-1                                          June-2011                                                        Number-1


                                                                   Striation: Lines in the Sand Cliff

                                                                                        by Alan Lindsay

Those parallel erosion lines the river made in the sand cliff centuries ago

remain somehow in the delicate wall—we could pull it down

with just our hands: a loud yell, an avalanche; yet there it stands

undisturbed except where dogs and swimmers have dug dry sluices in the form—

still it stands; its ageless indifferent triumph over the infernal patience of gravity

remains. I try so hard to find some cause for wonder in this

elaborate breastwork, these years of patient labor this

abstract aeolian rushmore of lines that are

just there—variegated, beautiful, evenly spaced parallel lines

like type on the page of the cliff, like lines of graffiti

the river wrote in the soft wall as slow centuries

of water evenly receding drew themselves along, as time does,

as water does, informing us with the infernal patience of gravity,

informing us—please give me your hand—informing us of nothing

we did not already understand about time and about water and the pull of the earth—

about forces so delicate—like the forces of sound in a word—so delicate

you do not feel them, no, you cannot feel them




             Your Name

                               by Alan Lindsay

A whisper of mist, the plunk of the rain: the sound

invades the heart, shivers a universe, urges

love and fear like two dull leaves

huddled in a seed feeling the ache

for moisture heat and air open to live

in the warmth of the sound; at the sound of the name the heart-

seed anchors, strains to the notes; the heart’s

shell breached at last by the damp


osmosis of the sound, of the chant, of love, my love,

your name, my love, is wetness is rain is the whisper

in wind bursting in play. Come, my love


at last, today, find me in the dark with the pulse

of your flesh. I will hear the air shiver away

as you pass, I will whisper the sound with my hands.