Dear poet, I have so enjoyed your poem:
the one about the tree branches
that hang over the river -sometimes dipping into the water.
Yesterday, I read it several times slowly to myself and then once out loud –
when no one was within earshot of my voice.
I liked the sounds that it made and the confines of its place. This contributed to the imagery you’ve drawn and I felt I was moving there, then gone. The lyrical qualities appeal to me, especially the internal rhymes that feature throughout the piece.
Upon revisiting the words the next day, the meaning
or at least what I thought) was clear.
The branch is not sufficient in its purpose to simply reflect
from the stream.
The eddies created are themselves rhythmic and gleam.
Thank you poet for allowing your words to spill and flow,
so that trees from the riverside can touch them and grow.
In silence, they dissolve before dawn-
the words my heart was calling.
They are not in the sun,
I can hear the noiseless sound raining down.
Nothing but the white vowels of the wind,
a perfect song is loveless.
The snow is beautiful on the ground.
For still the night through will they come and go,
unerringly toward the same trysting-place,
with iced and darkened flow
on every road I wandered by.
Music, I’ll call it music,
she must have a song at any cost
again and again out of the world’s cold deafness.
This Cento is comprised of lines from the following poets:
Mo H Saidi, Sara Teasdale, Avot Yeshurun, AE Stallings, Miguel Hernandez, Kenneth Patchen, DH Lawrence, Tony Hoagland, Thom Gunn, Philip Levine, Margaret Julia Marks, Graham Foust, Carolyn Wells, AE Houseman, Dabney Stuart
The leaves lay spread amidst a coverlet of snow-
one a bit early, the other late in season
past reds and yellows – some time ago.
They were once green, connected stem to root –
and spring and summer rains
dripping from their tapered ends fed them –
their flowers and their shoots.
The rains that came in maelstrom or set in calming mist,
now fall glissando-like in frozen silhouette.
Lighting on the grass and ground, setting to persist.
The time between these spells now hardly seems unfurled
and yet the leaves, now consummated, are ensconced in winter pearl.
Having arrived, definitively,
from your origins
as a thought
from far away – your power
to hold us all as newly born,
as something once not, yet now are –
created solely from bonds of love-
you are a certitude, swaddled in assurance.
and we are radiant.
This week we welcomed our grandson into the world. I am almost speechless in my ability to convey how this impacted me.
The frost that abides on the blades of grass
in the early morning darkness,
will sublimate as the sunbeams rise and amass
and reveal the work of the artless.
The light will envelope a verdant day
and warm where cold was belated,
then tarry with a lush and capable stay
just as salvation created.
I’ve spent the week listening to songs
and paying tribute to old movie stars.
Ol’ Gator and the Crewe are gone,
the coffee pot is growling on.
The songs I heard are old and true,
yet still they sound like yesterday.
I send them out from me to you.
The coffee pot is growling on.
Ol’ Gator fought the crooked law
and justice served the Crewe at last.
Even bandits fight against their flaws.
The coffee pot goes growling on.
What could happen, which is worse?
Posed a voice I recognize.
Are our leaders so accursed?
the coffee pot goes growling on.
Where did all our heroes go?
I ask aloud – inside my head.
The lonely people – they all know
the coffee pot’s still droning on.
Songs and stories will often tell
us who we are to be:
Poet, lover, bootlegger rebel.
The growling pot has stopped, it’s done.