Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

inspired by “Wheat Field with Crows” painted by Vincent van Gogh and “Blackbirds” composed by Kayleen Asbo

Oh Vincent, I long to pause with you
where the three paths converge in the wheat field.
We can stand there beneath the sullen sky
like two piano notes side by side,
which, when played at the same time,
rub against each other
in an awkward, uncomfortable music.
Sometimes what unsettles us
is so unbearably beautiful.
I want to meet you in this moment
before you return to a wheat field
with not a brush, but a gun,
want to meet you in this moment
before the choice, before the shot,
this moment when there are still three paths,
all of them leading beyond the frame.
Let’s linger here, Vincent,
beneath the dark arpeggios of crows,
linger here while everything is still possible.
The storm is coming, I see it, too,
turbulent and full of change
while in the honest wheat, look,
you’ve shared so much light, so much gold.

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One Near-Full Moon Rise

no passport—
still this feral beauty
crosses my border

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A Gentle Grief

Thin clouds smear against clear sky
like questions in white chalk being erased

or like streaks of tears
just before they have evaporated.

On this sun-glorious morning,
steeped in blue, I am crying.

Is it strange grief does not bother me?

The river is higher again today
as the snow from high peaks starts to melt.

I stare at the spot on the bank
where we used to stand and throw rocks,

squealing with pleasure
as the water splashed and formed rings.

The kingfisher clicks as he follows the shoreline,
his beak a needle stitching this moment

to the past. I, too, am melting,
melting into this generous morning,

forgetting who I am, then remembering again,
everything blurs, oh this beautiful dissolution,

the tears almost cool, the sun so warm.

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I hope we remember forever
this trip to New York—
remember the trees in pink bloom
along the High Line in Chelsea,
remember the tiramisu
at Joe G.’s near Carnegie,
remember the reflecting pool
outside the Lincoln Center,
and how the whole city shined
after rain. And I hope we remember
forever the way the man stole my brown hat
when the wind blew it off my head
and he shouted It’s mine, It’s mine, and ran off,
how unsettling it was to be interviewed
by the newspaper of a cult, and
what a bummer it is to have food poisoning
and try to watch a play.
I hope we remember forever the memorial
where the twin towers once stood—
how beautiful the falling water is
and how grave.
This is the way the world is—
so lost and so precious all at once.
Each time something was tough,
I would say to myself, well, no one died.
But you and I know that sometimes
the one we love dies.
And we can bear it.
Not only can we bear it,
we can thrive. We will find beauty
and gravity everywhere we go
and still, we can love this world,
we can love each other,
still we can love, we can love.

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What we do now echoes into eternity.

            —Marcus Aurelius

If what we do now echoes into eternity,
then let there be more mornings such as this one
in which my mother wakes me by singing
a thin thread of melody
that praises the beauty of the day.
By breakfast, I feel the small reverberations
of her joy as they ricochet in me
chiming against loss and fear,
an unabashed gladness that rings
against the holy ribs,
that spirals inside the aortal caves,
that peals through the chasms of the hours.
By afternoon, it’s coruscating, resonating,
a bit of aural shine against the day’s ache,
helping me meet the world just
a bit more brightly.
Just think, after an eternity, how much
beauty might have come from one
simple tune sung by one open heart
willing to sing for one moment what is true.

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I did not know how beautiful,
grief could be, how generous—
like an improvised cello sonata
in a minor key, a melody
that leaps and wails, unfurls
into harmonic bloom
and makes the whole body
tremble. There is a purity
in it—a sweetness that says
you are here and I will hold you
as long as you meet me.

When others tell me
they wish they could take
some fraction of the pain,
I thank them and I mean it,
but I would not let them
take even the tiniest portion.
To meet grief is to be
deeply steeped in love,
to know the self as wildly alive,
tugged apart by beauty, by loss.

And grief draws its bow
across the strings of the moment—
sonorous and lyrical.
Oh this sensuous rush of the world.
And how is it through tears, through ache,
through breathtaking pain,
I find myself saying thank you?

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One Ephemeral

like trying to hold a waterfall—
this beauty
that can only be lived

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In the corner of the window,
slumps an old gray cobweb.
No longer gossamer,
it holds the spring pollen
in its dull clumpen strands.
At the edge of the web,
a long dead mayfly trembles
in the wind, its abdomen bent,
legs broken and detached,
its wings more cloud, less shine.
There is so much of me
that is dusty and damaged,
so much I would like to clear away.
So much that is spent and dead.
My friend tells me all she can see
is beauty. Though I can’t find it here,
there is at least beauty in the looking
for beauty, beauty in the invitation
to see the world with a lens as open as friendship,
to see myself with eyes as generous as love.

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One Dream Job

            for Kayleen
rolling up my sleeves
in this grand beauty parlor—
help wanted

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Nudged by hope
the heart rises
from exhaustion.

It’s like the great blue heron
I saw this morning
flying up from a wasteland

on broad gray wings
with strong, slow beats
for a moment charged

with grace
before—did you
see this, heart?—

it chose to land again,
bringing all its beauty
to the desolate place.

This poem is published in the wonderful ONE ART Poetry Journal

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