I drank a wine of possibility with Rumi And shivered: How can I scribble a poem of nothing I’m not just fix upon the world a scribble meant to be that poem for I am Winter and Water in Time that Poem is me
I wrote a poem upon demand which struck me as odd, along with the rule of 44 words to be contained within. So many things off the beam on this which made it ravishing of course. And of and for and to the 10,000 things no less.
And so I did. Write it and yet not, more like a vomit of words, not mine.
” I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid
of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.”
Declare peace with your breath.
Inhale men of arms and friction, exhale whole buildings and stormi red-winged blackbirds.
Inhale terrorists and exhale sleeping children and freshly mowed fields.
Inhale confusion and exhale maple trees.
Inhale how much has fallen and exhale friendships of a lifetime still intact.
Declare peace with your listening: when you hear sirens, pray out loud.
Remember what your tools are: flower seeds, dress pins, clean rivers.
Make some soup.
Make music, learn how to say thanks in three different languages.
Learn how to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as blueberries dancing,
imagine the pain as the exhale of beauty or the gesture of fish.
Swim to go the other way.
The world has never appeared so new and precious.
Drink a cup of tea and cheer up.
Act like the armistice has already arrived.
Don’t wait another minute.
You will be walking some night in the comfortable dark of your yard and suddenly a great light will shine round about you, and behind you will be a wall you never saw before. It will be clear to you suddenly that you were about to escape, and that you are guilty: you misread the complex instructions, you are not a member, you lost your card or never had one. And you will know that they have been there all along, their eyes on your letters and books, their hands in your pockets, their ears wired to your bed. Though you have done nothing shameful, they will want you to be ashamed. They will want you to kneel and weep and say you should have been like them. And once you say you are ashamed, reading the page they hold out to you, then such light as you have made in your history will leave you. They will no longer need to pursue you. You will pursue them, begging forgiveness. They will not forgive you. There is no power against them. It is only candor that is aloof from them, only an inward clarity, unashamed, that they cannot reach. Be ready. When their light has picked you out and their questions are asked, say to them: “I am not ashamed.” A heron will begin his evening flight from the hilltop.
Photo: “Grand Heron” by Ardea Herodias Poem originally posted by Luis Alberto Urrea, 2012
As my birthday is now gone, I can say it was. I’m not fond of saying that it is. I’ve not been interested in birthdays since the milestone days: 18, 21, and 30. After that it has seemed mostly inconsequential, especially to celebrate. Not avoidance, more like a no matter. A shrug of the shoulders.
But today I did see this poem posted, a lovely toast to the days as we mark them gone.
Poem and photo posted by Mauri Fox & Kathy Gallo
I Am Not Old I am not old…she said I am rare. I am the standing ovation At the end of the play. I am the retrospective Of my life as art I am the hours Connected like dots Into good sense I am the fullness Of existing. You think I am waiting to die… But I am waiting to be found I am a treasure. I am a map. And these wrinkles are Imprints of my journey Ask me anything. ~ Samantha Reynolds
And this coat has special significance for me as it’s a coat that reoccurs in my life. It is the coat that was first found on Billy the priest as we were kid-adults together in Michigan. He was quite heavyset then, and the coat looked fabulous on him. (He was not a priest at the time.) One of the first novels I wrote, “Last House” has a character in it who has such a coat. He is a character of some merit and all of the people who read the MS loved him. He is also heavyset and a very proud and kind man. When I think of the coat I can feel it, so warm and wonderful, and furry.