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
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.
Smoke arises from the chimney stack
from an untended burn.
It smolders and flashes, then flames.
and maybe some oak, dense among woods,
it brings back the smoke
to choke away the cleansing flame
and obscure the fire,
producing words like bitterness and char.
liven up their dance
a rustling disturbance,
The wind, entr’acte, passing by,
does prick and ply their motions.
Embrace them, turn and whirl,
and love-struck, fails to die.
A wind swirling with its bustle
causing them to rustle
(as leaves are sessile).
Their time and captivation ending
with hues of autumn shifting.
The wind, incitement with a sound included;
leaves breaking free
then flight from tree, soon denuded.
This joy in purpose released towards the heaven.
Of lives, they leaven.
The reworking of an old poem from ca. 2005-6. I think I like this better.
There is a secret around the corner
that the roses will be red instead of pink;
the sunset and sunrise will both illuminate
the dark moments – far more eloquently than any word.
There are remnants of language,
The laughter of loved ones and strangers
are beauty in a spattered world –
and strung-together notes of the discordant are melodious when unfurled.
There is a depth in every eyeful gathered from a window
and a coolness in the soil grasped by each hand.
You feel the heat that summer’s afternoon conceives,
and I hear the whiskers of October’s morning in the leaves.
There are shadows that crawl in the day
and charming smiles that ornament a night.
And this is truth’s impassioned plea to our humanity,
and affirms the secrets we sometimes cannot see –
perhaps, life is our communal way to share
and maybe, each one of us is rare.
The events of this past week have weighed heavily on me – the loss of two very successful, highly creative individuals to suicide, and the realization that this type of hopelessness impacts far more people than we know/understand. There is such beauty and importance in life, and each one of every one of us has a rare gift to share with others. Remember this.
Wishing you all a wonderful week.
Our one forever,
when it stole through the red gates of sunset
left over from autumn, and the dead brown grass
is yet vibrant with the cadence of the song you might have been.
No longer mired in waiting to begin.
They tell us the night means nothing,
and the candles their light the light.
Nothing is hid that once was clear,
then gone and then to come:
all the time, except the split
What is there to say except to lament.
You live in the wrong place.
There’s no flowering time to come.
The hands fell off my watch in the night
and you counted the time
from this instant.
This Cento contains lines from the following poets:
Kenneth Rexroth, John Koethe, Lola Ridge, Brenda Hillman, Martha Collins, Melissa Kwasny, Katharine Tynan, Esther Louise Ruble, David Yezzi, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Jonathan Galassi, Michael Goldman, Robert Francis, and Lucille Clifton.
I never said much, but always wished more.
I often walked far, yet attended to less –
following the streams
climbing the hill
breathing the air.
I sometimes planned, yet often moved.
I always embraced, but waited alone –
catching a glimpse
grasping a hand
dancing a waltz.
I cherished the words, then let them sit idle.
I spoke them in caves, and the echoes moved on –
whispered and bluff
incarnate and gangling
encircled and sure.
I never said much, but always wished more.
It’s at times like this,
when morning slides across in its straw-yellow light –
that I am slow enticed to rise
and invite the day into my life.
Somehow its poetry comes upon me like I dial
digits on a rotary phone-
awaiting a cyclic return to home position before moving on.
It’s where the music of my choice plays from beginning to end,
with static embellishment reminding me of conclusion.
The ticks and tocks of the clock drive me forward in time,
It’s the moment of morning glory – once asleep in darkness,
then blooming in the day.
Beauty – she sits in moments, but grows in continuum,
and the anticipation at these time-points are like dust in the shifting light,
and my heart wakes in hues of endurance and tomorrow.
First, lay down a crumble of moments in a dish,
childhood memories and first visions evoked –
if you have them – mix them with a butter
sauce of retention.
Smear a layer of simple exuberance – whisked and sweet
over the base. Linger if you must, smoothing and spreading
a zestful meringue until it glistens reflected light.
Next will come chunks of a weightier kind.
Dropped upon the dish,
they will indent the surface.
They will disrupt your coated enthusiasm
with texture, and by themselves, will be unfulfilling.
Do not allow them to cover in total,
but position them throughout – they will later add contour
and context to your beginnings.
Prepare a lime gelatin containing your favorite morsels
of triumph (and defeat)-
One cannot come without the other-
Spoon it over the patina of your past until covered.
Cool and let it set for a time- until solid.
When removed and sliced, savor the different
complexions – the marrow and the substance in between
and within the continuous and smooth.