Midsummer, Riga

11 pm in Riga
Windows wide as yawning
Outide it’s as bright as a cloudy day
In St. Louis

Some workmen decide
It’s a fine time to install a kiosk
Across the street
Just because

Drilling, banging, smoking
A marvelous night’s work
No one sleeps
Time enough for that
In winter

I sit up
Banging out poems
With a relentless clatter

The idler in Riga

Yesterday I nearly wept
To hear the ancient tongue
Cascade around my ears
Sublimely ordinary
Plain as a sandy dune
Carved by endless dark winters
Intense like an eternal
Too short summer
So unbearably sweet

The rythms cradled me
The voices called my soul’s name
In tongues yet older
All slung across helplessly

I wept for all that’s gone
All that’s lost
All that’s rediscovered
Ragged by grieving
But still sound still standing

In the fathomless geography of the heart
Are journeys as yet untaken
Rivers yet unrafted to seas
Unstilled by weathering