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Posts Tagged ‘ode’

Ode to Syn-propanethial-S-oxide

You hide in the flesh of onions

the way hope hides in certain Superbowl commercials.

It’s not that I don’t expect you,

so why does it feel like an ambush when you,

chemical irritant released into air,

bring tears to my eyes and I stand there

at the kitchen counter weeping

over the cutting board,

weeping as if a lover died,

as if listening to cello,

as if I realize again there is so much suffering

in the world I cannot change.

You remind me it’s natural to cry—

that waterworks are hardwired into the eyes.

You teach me sometimes what nourishes us

also burns.

There are times when I’ve wondered

why we aren’t all weeping—

weeping for the lack of connection,

weeping for children who hunger,

weeping for love between friends

and the red of maple leaves—

it’s as if you give us permission,

prepare the pathways,

so that when at last we succumb

to our glorious humanity

we don’t try to hide it,

we don’t act as if it’s a problem,

we just stand in the center of the room

and let those hot tears

fall down our cheeks,

the salt sharp and hot on our tongues.

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Too sharp to be candy,

and yet you manage

to trick the tongue

into willingness.

Other’s may have

better medicine,

may get to the heart

of what’s wrong.

But you, you bring ease,

you relieve.

Your whole purpose:

To soothe until

healing can happen.

To insert a little sweetness

into misery.

To relax what wants to erupt.

To make the moment bearable.

To keep peace.

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In the spaces between

the words I didn’t write,

there was a pour of poison.

A wall-full of bricks.

The barbs from a hundred hooks.

I almost forgot how in the writing

some of that poison would

slip into me, how I despise

a wall, how each hook

demands a bit of my blood.

I spent hours not writing it,

used up reams of thoughts.

It was a relief when the wind

blew away all the words

except these: I understand.

Those, it let me read again

before they, too, blew away

and I didn’t chase after them.

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The Paper Clip

download-1

 

 

Something splendid about the way

it holds things together

with elasticity and torsion,

Such simple invention—

a steel wire bent on itself.

Less violent than a staple.

Less permanent than glue.

But effective and elegant,

it does what I’ve so often

wished to do—it unites.

It gently connects what is separate.

It doesn’t leave a scar.

It maintains order and humbly

keeps the messy world composed.

But then, and here is where I fail,

it easily lets things go.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ode to the Patty Pan

 

 

 

I can imagine not everyone would look

at this plate of grilled pattypan squash

and start to salivate. I was one of them once,

 

those who think they dislike zucchini, crook necks,

patty pans. I, too, shunned the spongy flesh,

the seeded core. I was a scorner of squash.

 

I don’t exactly remember when it changed,

when I stopped wishing it off my plate,

began to grow it myself. Began to crave it—

 

and not just grated into sweet bread.

Not just sliced and forgotten in a rich tomato sauce.

No, I came to delight in the very squash-ness of it—

 

the way it embodies the abundance of summer.

The way it takes on other flavors but never

abandons its own. And here, tonight,

 

stacked on my plate like small green suns,

blistered and sweating from the grill,

the pattypan squash are luscious, delightful,

 

so utterly themselves. How hard it used to be

to appreciate them. I remember. How easily

it comes now, this thrill in what summer provides.

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