'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.' Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Reply to Sorrow



When it rains
on a summer day
I have no thought
of sorrow or things
waiting to be revealed
in a bad light.
When it rains
in summer, I inhale life
from damp soil
and imbibe moisture
through my pores.
The rain brings with it
tales worth the telling:
of heroes who see
beyond a life
saved on just one day
but to the necessity
of friends binding together
to fight tyranny,
of slaves tears
falling on broken shackles,
of old men
who love old women
enough to lie
beside them in single beds.
But when it rains
in winter, I feel my blood
run in cold rivulets
like the streaks
on window panes.
My hands turn to fists
clutching an invisible shield
and I seek shelter
from remembrance of old griefs
buried in shallow graves.
There is a steadiness
to rain out of a cold white sky
which speaks of sorrow’s consistency
and I prefer to forget
that matter decomposes in water
and remember instead
that water helps things grow.

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The poet, Claribel Alegria, is our inspiration for The Sunday Challenge in The Imaginary Garden.

photo credit: shoothead via photopin cc

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Notations by Firelight

The Poet's Fireside



Cross-legged, on the floor by the fireplace, 
I prefer to think of nothing.  Not about love
or separation, with fresh coffee dripping
like muddy water into a chipped mug,
this old dog’s ache and grunt beside me.

What of Penelope? She must have known
the wastefulness of looking forward,
possessive of the distressful abandonment,
and her own dear-won defiance.
I imagine her fingertips tingle as she sleeps
and unravels threads in her dreams,
sees one-eyed giants, hears the sirens’ lure,
believes her lover lies in the lap of oblivion
where questions cling like oily bubbles to weeds.

And you and I, what would we accept
as fair exchange for our present circumstance?
Whose life would we lay down instead of our own?

Poets write as if they fear to lose each passing thought.
Thinking to see them engrained in the hulking wrecks
dredged up from the muddy beds of Mediterranean seas.

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