When I learned this past weekend from Serena that Lu, Kelly, and Eva had issued the following challenge: post about poetry once a month, on the last Tuesday of the month, for 2012, I knew I had to participate. However, I didn’t … Continue reading
Tag Archives: poem
This morning, I was awakened by weird dreams, and for some reason was reminded of this poem that I wrote a decade or so ago after reading a Robert Lowell poem and looking at a Dali painting:
I myself am hell, Robert. Like the painter
in Dali’s D’Afrique who sits at easel,
right hand extended out to his audience,
eyes tracing it onto canvas with his left,
I have been fascinated by the blisters
on my middle finger, where the brush rests
and by the bottoms of my fingernails
turning lavender, the color of an illness.
But I am tired of it. Everyone’s tired of it.
The cuticular colloquies. Climacteric
epiphanies like “the painter’s vision is
not a lens, it trembles to caress the light,”
and “my mind’s not right.” Isn’t the subject
of the painting what lies beyond this frame?
In keeping with my themed days at my other blogs, Meditative Monday at just a (reading) fool and Contemplative Tuesday at journeying with the Saints, for today’s Wordsmith Wednesday, I offer the following poem:
Waiting for the school bus
Sometimes it is as heavy as
the bookbags we tote, the trombone cases
Ed and I lug up the stairs.
Other times words fill the spaces between us
until a passing tractor-trailer cuts off our sentences,
and we fall back into it.
Twenty years later, I shut off the radio
on my way to work and listen to that sweet absence:
a burden I gladly bear.
I already shared this poem once back in May, but I’m resharing it oday since it is the Feast of the Transfiguration and later today, I am returning to Mt. Savior as I consider becoming an oblate there. I wrote it in July of 1995 when I spent six weeks living with the monks at Mount Savior Monastery near Pine City, N.Y. near Corning.
The clouds of unknowing roll over me,
nuclear in their design,
probably like those that carried him,
his spirit out to the Pacific and beyond
the vapor trail I view on the horizon
now. An airliner lifts off, brushes
the cross on the steeple,
the silence into sonic resonances.
Like the SAC bomber that buzzed
across his hermitage’s roof
(its bay doors, the jaws of Apocalypse,
if opened could swallow the countryside).
The same type of bomber that took him
stateside. On Sunday after Mass,
I listen to the blues in the common room,
ponder the irony of lyrics, saints’ fates.
For today’s Wordsmith Wednesday, I return to a poem I composed for another of my cousins. Earlier, I shared a different kind of poem for another cousin. This one is a lot more direct, maybe even to the point of cliche, but at the time, it captured what I was thinking about my cousin and maybe about my own life.
For A Cousin Going Into Rehab Upstate Listen, even in the silence the secondhand keeps moving, the rat-a-tat of a keyboard, one hand clapping in the wind. Where do we go from here? Upward mobility is a fancy name for the dream we dream. I can't promise you the cruelty of the world won't try to crush you. To put it in perspective, at least 300 are feared dead in a Moroccan earthquake, there are larger headlines to be written than cousin goes into rehab upstate, to be sure, but none so personal to me than to know what the world needs now is to see you in it breathing in out in out, the clock can be your friend, not your enemy. Listen, even in the silence the secondhand keeps moving, the rat-a-tat of the keyboard keeps rat-a-tatting along like some jazz song from years gone by. It makes no sense what we do but we continue: to live.