October 15, 2009



by Lark Beltran

Things outlive.
Hoarded, forgotten or treasured,
an heirloom might well feel smug
at our ephemerality
when in its case, a simple
removal of tarnish
can revive pristine youth.

Strata lie before me:
a rose-scalloped silver dish from the 1940´s
holds a calling-card from the 1860´s,
an ancient Babylonian seal
and the fossil of a trilobite which paddled
in young seas before the plant kingdom existed.

Things outlive
the organisms which wander and ponder,
carving out their curves amid sighs
and secretions and excretions. A broken
link stops the frantic, warm-celled
scurrying, but for some
sensitives, an aura still
clings. They intuit, haphazardly,

the war-bride´s pleasure at receiving
the dish; the nondescript small town
street observed by G.W. Kidd
while handing her card to M.A. French;
a conical-bearded patriarch, perhaps,
affixing his stamp of approval to a beige document.
What vibrant rivers of history
run below the surface of perception,
re-created only by hearsay
while we are in the flesh.

Would that psychometry
were merely a technical
trick to be mastered,
affording thrills magnificently surpassing
front-row tickets to mega-events.
I like to imagine
old objects harboring tendrils of emotions past,
rubbing off on the odd dream or random insight.

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Lark Beltran says: I´m from California but have lived in Peru for over 30 years as an ESL teacher. Over the past several years, my poems have appeared in a number of online and print journals, including Penwood Review, Sage of Consciousness, Ascent Aspirations and Bolts of Silk.

Where do you get the ideas for your poems?

From the combination of a longtime interest in archaeology, from memories of travels to several countries, from growing up in a lakeside house which contained a library of old leather-bound books from England. (My dad was an antiquarian par excellence.)