God is two brothers, one dark and one light,
Riding out Time in a tiny ship;
Half day and half night gives little room;
God knows that a rose, red rose or white,
Is a rose is a rose is a bud is a bloom
Is brown blown petals and a drying hip;
And the length of Time’s budding, blowing park
Walk the arm-linked arguers, Light and Dark.
I wrote this poem in Morocco in my 20s, after an encounter with some of the herbs they grow there. As an aside, I don’t necessarily believe or subscribe to the things I write in my poems – they are just expressions of thoughts, moods, landscapes, overheard conversations or whatever. That said, I still like this poem: I find it simultaneously all-embracing and meaningless, and that’s OK. Apparently my recital of it, while pulling dying petals off a rose bush, captivated a young lady at the beginning of our friendship… and we’ve now been together for 31 years.
The poem was first published by Ryerson Free Press.