Various poems

Found in the park on the Hudson River, in southern Manhattan under construction

The Continuous Life
by Mark Strand
found carved in stone, near a fountain in the Hudson River Park

What of the neighborhood homes awash in a silver light,
of children hunched in the bushes,
watching the grown-ups for signs of surrender,
Signs that the irregular pleasures of moving from day to day,
of being adrift of the swell of duty,
have run their course? Oh parents, confess
to your little ones the night is a long way off
and your taste for the mundane grows
tell them your worship of household chores are barely begun;

Describe the beauty of shovels and rakes, brooms and mops;
Say there will always be cooking and cleaning to do,
that one thing leads to another, which leads to another;
Explain that you live between two great darks, the first
with an ending, the second without one,
that the luckiest thing is having been born,
that you live in a blur of hours and days, months and years, and believe it has meaning,
despite the occasional fear your are slipping away with nothing completed,
nothing to prove you existed.
Tell the children to come inside,

that your search goes on for something you lost -
a name, a family album that fell from its own small matter
into another,
a piece of the dark that might have been yours,
you don't really know. Say that each of you tries to keep busy, learning
to lean down close and hear the careless breathing of earth
and feel its available languor cover over you, wave after wave
sending small tremors of love through your brief,
undeniable selves, into your days and beyond.