Tuesday, June 04, 2013
The Obesity of Tears
SAPPHICS FOR LOST CHILDREN
There they are—the innocents—in the old woods:
two lost children—fairy tale setting—danger
waiting for them. See how they enter with their
bread crumbs to scatter
on the path for rescuers who will find them.
Find them! All the forest birds soon will cover
them with leaves of pity and tender sorrow
once again. Find them.
(in amphibrach dimeter)
She’s smiling, she’s smiling.
Best watch her, she’s smiling.
Her eyes are not turning
away from your face; and
she seems to be touching
the sleeve of your sweater—
as if to delay you.
You’ve waited too long now.
You find her beguiling.
She offers a drink, and
you take it—a teacup,
too tiny and fragile,
with rosebuds—real china.
It’s empty. (You try not
to spill it.) She pours you
another, and offers
a candy. She chatters
and chatters, insisting
you answer the same way—
to afternoon tea that
she pours, and you share
with Teddy, the Bear, and
the doll named Marie.
TARRIANCE AT A SMALL
Eating a white dessert,
all by myself,
with small red bites
of strawberries in it,
rich as a sugar—
disguised in many ways,
and a cup of lukewarm
coffee to sip.
I savor the treat—
melting against my tongue.
Outside: the threat of rain,
not here yet
at this gray window
with its ominous gathering of clouds
and glassy blur of people.
Every day I try to diet. When
I am thin again
I may forgive the obesity of tears.
VANITIES OF CREATION
There is a white bear that lives
in a white forest of ice,
casting his thin blue shadows everywhere
over those cold regions,
lonely for a warmth he never knew
or for a thawing of the fears around him.
He has no name but White Bear
but does not answer to this.
He roams the paths of his imagination—
living out his existence
as a myth of his own making.
Never go there
with your envisioning powers
lest you make him extinct
along with your other vanities of creation.
He was meant to be alone—there only
for the last separation of self;
he has not yet wakened to this.
Do not waken him from this mission
—that of being the only one of his kind.
You must not think to rescue him—
or destroy him. He is not yours to own—
not even in his tenuous existence
in this poem.
(first pub. in Nomad’s Choir)
THE DREAMING GIRL
(After "Sasho's Journey", 1990 by Wonsook Kim Linton)
Where does the brown bear lead? They are
in a cave. The walls of the cave are missing.
Night is showing through
with its sky and hidden moon—
its green rain and the lost distance.
She carries a handful of red flowers . . .
They are on an ice floe in a desert night.
The land is shrinking around them.
The bear is pulling her through the melting.
The ice is the color of sand.
The sea is a deepening mirror.
A white bird rides on her shoulder . . .
They are in a crude tapestry. Part of it
is missing. The ravels slowly work
around them—mending the fraying world.
Still, they seem resolute
in their calmness—the bear and the girl
going somewhere dreamily together . . .
In the book’s forest
live the bears of harmony
who dream beneath trees
amid the gold butterflies
and other wraiths of heaven.
—Medusa, with thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix! Our new Seed of the Week is All Those Books. Think broadly, though: books you grew up on, dusty bookshelves, bookkeeping, bookmaking, book burning... Send your thoughts to email@example.com. No deadline on SOWs.