Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All Can Be Built From Nothing


I enter the house of angels and
am at once given a halo to carry
with me as I browse and admire.
The power of love is everywhere
in elegance and simplicity
and I am in the influence. I am
reduced to surprise of humility;
I want to soar through my own heart
like a reunion; I want my eyes
to preserve everything they see
in my symbolic need of angels.
The aisles narrow. . .angels balance
on shelves. . .crystal-bodied angels
sparkle from glass enclosures. . .
a cloy of angels fastens to the
walls. . .they overlap. . .they are
too many. . .they become one. . .
I am overwhelmed. . .I buy nothing. . .
I go out the door, still holding on
to my wire and glitter halo.
(first pub. in CFCP Winning Poems Booklet, 1997
and Hayden’s Poetry Review, 1997)



I saw the gulls today beg down
among the cars in the grocery parking lot,
perspected large against the blue-white light,
making blue-white cries in the winter dusk.

I remember such a time –
once – before rain, when sun-bright gulls
came down to the field across the way
and I so admired the look of them

that you kept them near with gifts of bread
and they grew in number as the good word
spread. For over an hour you stood out there
in the pending weather

flinging bread
into the bristling air
for the shrill and swarming thankless gulls,
just for my pleasure.

(first pub. in Chrysanthemum, 2001)



You have been standing
a long, long time
with the stolen rose
in your hand,
waiting to complete
your act of giving.

And now that the bush
has stopped its trembling
and the garden’s beast
is healing the wound
of beauty
in his tragic mind,
I come to you
in my furtive plunder
of receiving.


he brings me marbles
from a lost garden
under the weeds
in the turned soil
marble after marble
that he brings
for my jar of water
old waiting marbles
that have lain
in the darkness
noting that children
have lost them
years ago
and now they come to eyes
for praise
for appreciation
he has carried them
in his pocket
till he has worn them clean
and then he has
given them to me
one by one
over the thrifty years
after he has turned
all the soil
under and under
finding the pretty ones
the broken ones
all those marbles
that have turned into such an
enviable collection

(first pub. in Negative Capability, 1990)



my death sits waiting
with gifts of apples
in his lap
smiling into the direction
from which I will come
and practicing
the word he will say

it is a brimming afternoon
everything lazy and green
and young
and he has eloquent eyes
for me to enter
when I see him waiting there
as if all time
were his to have
beneath that tree


Today's LittleNip:


We must take the barest to make a joy
of anything – the least, the merest,
the brief observance, there for a moment;
we must take the fragment and construct

the whole – all can be built from nothing;
someone has to give form to it,
bring into being what was not there before,
be careful with it, let it be wonderful,

offer it from your pride and humility
to the astonished or the indifferent,
give it a title and a signature – make it
your own, then give it away to everyone.


—Medusa, with thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix celebrating The Best Gifts. This week, send us poems about the season: Christmas, New Year's, the Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festiva—your pick. Send Poems of the Season for our Seed of the Week to kathykieth@hotmail.com