Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yes, I was there!

I hope to be able to share some reflections on my experience attending the Inauguration, but I'm still collecting my thoughts, not to mention trying to re-establish what passes for my normal life. In the meantime, here's an old poem I stumbled on while gathering some others for submitting to various journals. I had completely forgotten about it and had never shown it to anyone. I made some revisions and then submitted it to Naomi's keen eye. The final result:

To the Woman on the Bus

I thought I’d seen
you here before when
you sat down across
from me you caught
my eyes and smiled
before looking
away you seemed
as distant as I felt yet
when our eyes met
again you smiled
again you twice softly
blessed the sneezing woman
sitting beside me.
I got off before you
and haven’t seen you since.

Monday, January 12, 2009

One Word, Two Poems

Once again I have been able to draw inspiration from One Word. I had a partial draft of "Deny" going in a notebook and most of "Finite" written in my head and miraculously on Saturday night had time and inclination to finish them. Naomi looked at them with her customary acuity and the results are below. Comments welcome as always.


Don't deny the wound:
the cigarette burn in
the white shirt
the red wine stain
on the beige carpet
the piss stains
on the marble fireplace
the razor scar
the rust colored splotches
on the bathroom sink
the crack in the alarm clock
the rent in the curtain
that lets the moonlight in.


An anthill has a floor
and a hole in the top
a beehive the same
only in reverse
yet there is an inexhaustible
supply of ants and bees.
A river begins in a glacier
or spring and ends
in the ocean but
the river never
ceases flowing.
In finite things
the infinite.

I also added a new link at the bottom of the list. I don't know how to categorize Chlorista Twist's Warped Reality, so I'll just say it's well worth a visit. She kindly commented here recently and invited me to link to her and I'm happy to comply.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Comings & Goings

A new year inevitably brings changes and the blogosphere is no exception. Two of my favorite blogs, Old Blue Bus and Trout Fishing in Minnesota, are ceasing posts. Follow the links to each and say goodbye to Ed and Jim. Backbeat has disappeared without warning and I have removed that link.

I'll be looking for new blogs to replace the Bus and Trout Fishing. Suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Poem for Epiphany

Today is Epiphany or Three Kings Day. Even if one is not a believer, the symbolism of earthly power paying homage to a higher, spiritual power is very meaningful. T.S. Eliot, in "Journey of the Magi," used the story as a metaphor for the difficult path to new religious belief. In "The Gift," William Carlos Williams sees the Magi's tribute as worship of love, both divine and human.

The Gift

As the wise men of old brought gifts
guided by a star
to the humble birthplace

of the god of love,
the devils
as an old print shows
retreated in confusion.

...the imagination
knows all such stories
before they are told
and knows the truth of this one
past all defection.

"The Gift" appears in the book Pictures From Breughel, Williams' final collection. I highly recommend getting hold of a copy and reading this poem in its entirety, as well as the many other fine pieces in the book.