“A child said What is the grass?
fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child?
I do not know what it is any more than he.
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition,
out of hopeful green stuff woven.
Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners,
that we may see and remark,
and say Whose?”
Song of Myself (1892 version) BY WALT WHITMAN
there is special delight for the city dweller,
when the first clean flushing of brightest spring green
disrupts the unending graying city ribs of worn concrete,
the alternating lifelessness of blasé brick, pretending
off-beige, ***** pale blue, a sooty furnace red,
well done, a good pretense that they are, of color.
I am among thousands whose as a child my breath
gave way, taken by gasp, when first made
entrance to the green diamond sparkle oasis of
Yankee Stadium, hid by the urban dreariness of The Bronx,
near sixty years vision sustained with perfect clarity on
retina-implanted, a shock, an earthly con-trast.
today, an old-timer, a first timer, I’m gifted Whitman’s Song of Myself,
from a friend and poet, who lives hardy by a Port,
another islander like myself, surrounded by wet roads and
pathways to the Northern Pacific, amongst timberlands of
forested and natured grass, a differing kind of stadium,
both of us silently saying, thanks Lord, for lending us yours.
even temporarily, this day, your emeralding grass handkerchief,
equates our dispositions, so differently identical,
your name, our initials, in opposing corners, embroidered,
your grass tapestry upon this troubled earth, a scented, joint, poetic
remembrance, that though it’s but words that bind us, we! we know!
the songs we sing of ourselves, we sing in synchrony harmony.
Wed. May 13, 2020
by the East River