The Way Back and If only we were to open our eyes (after W.G. Sebald)/ 2 poems by Steve Clorfeine

The Way Back

you ask
where to dig
what to penetrate

why the past no longer inserts itself 
as it once did
its canny dominance over 
the present
hours lost to memory

moments that happened & 
in the instant of happening 
memory set sail 


If only we were to open our eyes (after W.G. Sebald)

not only the wind but 
the sands that drift their way 
a prompt within their delicate bulk of dunes

the sea too, its fathom of motives
waves mount, crest excited 

amid such vast and active calm
one’s spirit soars and quiets 

inland, I think of Odysseus 
ever homesick
not wanting to forget and Rumi 
late by myself in the boat of myself
dolphins tossed on waves of their own making
recall my wish to be soaked by crazy wisdom

Christopher Isherwood writes 
(and this is on my mind)
homesickness for sanity is the only reason 
to take up a spiritual discipline


Steve Clorfeine is one of the founding arts faculty at Naropa University in Colorado. As faculty at SUNY New Paltz he later directed the Experimental Studies Department His performance work has been commissioned by many venues in NY State. A member of Meredith Monk’s company, performing throughout Europe and the U.S.
Steve began teaching theater in Nepal and India in 2003 and subsequently received two Cultural Envoy grants from the State Department for extended performance work. Steve currently teaches semi-annually in Europe. 
His non-fiction book on Nepal was published by Station Hill Press and 3 of his 5 poetry collections were published by Codhill Hill Press (2007-14). His ongoing writing workshop meets twice/month, now on Zoom.


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