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Clade Song 7


Blue Rider, Blue Horse, Green Flames

     “They count not by days (as we do), but by night.”
                                             Tacitus, on horses

Dark passes and day shakes
with sounds that might fill
my tightened belly. Stroking
hands and sugar begin each daylong
will come soon enough.
The war ends this year.

Early rain. Morning light
maddens the eyes. Earth shimmers.
Surely paradise is this Spring
and I will return to Sindelsdorf,
to my dog and our tame does.
To Maria and the chosen light
that cascades and replenishes.
War ends this year.

At what point do the green-eyed
chestnut bay and its blue rider
become one? At what distance
does the sun remove its hat? And when
will their travel, if ever, cease to be
a festschrift of broken faith?
Ends this year.

At this time of day
in the graying distance
we are a single shadow.
Horse and man
one rider one horse
in yellow-green twilight.
This year.

Sun flowers through
the green. Light’s arrows
pierce the forest floor.
Another night
a day to some
thick with long silences
shifting with the wind’s whim.

Surely paradise comes this spring
and I will return soon
to Sindelsdorf, to my dog
and tame does. To Maria
and the chosen light
that cascades and replenishes.
The war ends this year.

At this distance today
20 miles east of Verdun,
in Braquis, once a town,
now an open lime pit,
they are as they wish to be
inseparable. Neither
demanding from the other.
The war ends this.

Reins loose. Trot steady. Wind
a trusted ally. Memory
a playful dream.
The war ends.

Early rain today.
Morning light thick
as the corpse-swollen earth.
All promise of hope tarnished.
The war.

Sound offer proofs
that we live wisely
in the world’s woods.
To them a neigh
or snort are signs
revealed. Messages
from the wandering gods
read in smoke and flame.

Nothing my horse
hasn’t known and anticipated.
Surely paradise is everywhere endless
this Spring and I will return
soon to Sindelsdorf and its playful light.
Perhaps. But green and red
are not always gray to you.
And without red I would not rest
and could never be mistaken
for a god or you any longer
a splinter of dark lightning.
The war ends this year

Riderless the mare returns
in late afternoon.
A first green push
wakens in the maples.
Blood, already black,
speckles the saddle
and widens it nostrils.
War ends this year.

The late rain darkens
as the light thickens
towards summer
and the early moon’s
thin, unwelcomed light.
War ends this.


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Richard Weaver lives in Baltimore Maryland where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank. During the winter months he acts as an unofficial snowflake counter for the weather bureau. His interest in the art of Franz Marc dates back more than a decade.

Note: These poems are from a manuscript based in part on the art, writing, correspondence, and life of the German Expressionist painter Franz Marc (1880-1916). They focus on his life and art between the years 1912 and 1916. Marc and Kandinsky founded the Blue Rider movement.