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Posts Tagged ‘poem’

Tomorrow the World

 

Title from “Starting with Little Things” by William Stafford

 

 

Meet the world as jellyfish do,

evolving toward clarity,

straddling the balance

of what can and can’t be seen.

Know when to contract,

when to expand—to be efficient

and full of grace.

 

Become a bell that rings

only silence. A dance

that knows only pulse.

In the dark, be able

to be the light. In the light

learn to bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let yourself be danced.

            —Augusta Kantra

 

 

The poem sits down to be written.

Instead, it stares at the bay.

There’s a highway in the distance

that could take it all the way to California.

The poem doesn’t want to go to California.

It wants to be present, just here,

on the sandy bank beside the driftwood.

It wants to find its inner poem.

It wants to get out of its own way,

to obey its emerging form.

Instead, it watches the tall grass

getting danced by the wind.

It sighs. The poem wants to know

what it doesn’t know yet.

And the poem wants to be good.

Dammit. It tries to lower its standards,

then judges, compares and tries to fix itself.

It lists. It sits cross legged till its legs

fall asleep. It is a book of sorrows,

a tree of anxiety, a wave of failure.

It’s a cage of empty lines. How

did it get into this straight jacket?

The poem gives up. It stares at the bay.

Watches the grasses sway. Notices

how the wind blows its hair,

lifts its hands. The poem doesn’t know

why it’s weeping. In that moment,

the poem is danced.

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Who Am I?

 

 

I thought I wanted

a harmonium of answers,

a key of certainty,

a hymn of how to,

but silence gave me

the most beautiful gift—

one true question.

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Inner Locating

 

 

Close to the waves,

I hear only waves.

Close to the cars,

I hear cars.

Come closer,

says the silence.

Come closer,

says the heart.

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One Simultaneous

 

 

 

driving white knuckled

in the blizzard, meanwhile

a white camellia blooms

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The pelican dives

into the water,

rises again. Hovers.

Dives. Rises.

Each time, the water is quick

to forget the intrusion

loses its ripples,

stills. A thought

is a kind of a pelican.

A woman is a kind

of a bay. The pelicans

will always dive.

The bay will always

return to stillness.

A woman might

learn to live this way.

 

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Perhaps a Chance

 

 

It’s not that way with all things. Some that go are gone.

            —A.R. Ammons, “Eyesight”

 

 

And so it is that

even after the candle flame

is gone, yes, after

the flame is gone,

the carbon and unburned

wax vapor in the smoke

will still combust when touched

by a match, will travel down

the smoke and reignite

the wick. It sounds

like magic—looks like it,

too, a small ball of flame

dropping bright through the air.

So tonight when

my friend sends me

a video of just such

a marvel, I play it

again and again.

And all the burned out

wicks in me stand up

just a little bit straighter

and I stare at them

to notice if there is

still any smoke, and

my god, if I don’t just

run to the drawer

and find me

a box of matches,

their sticks brittle,

their tips as red

as hope.

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Again the urge

to bring gauze

to the broken world—

and medicine

and a plaster cast.

Again the urge

to fix things,

to heal them,

to make them right.

Again the chance

to do the work,

which is to look in,

to touch the pain

but not become it,

to see the world

exactly as it is

and still write it

a love letter,

to meet what is cracked

with clarity,

to mirror and grow

whatever beauty

we find.

 

 

 

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One Gratitude

 

 

 

this eager heart—

in a stuffy room, suddenly

the windows flung wide

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no wine, so we toast

with our laughter—

our joy half full

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