Monday, February 9, 2009

A Poet's Truth, Again And Again

I believe I am in a tradition. Back at the turn of the almost makes sense to write like that now...back then, I realized that my poems were songs in the biblical sense, sort of, or psalms. That sense of the holy is still with me, but deeper now. It often surfaces, sometimes straightforward, sometimes kind of off to the side, sometimes in all tongue in cheek humility and excuses for missing the mark. I believe I have been at some time or another all the things I write about or at least near when they happened to others. I am fearless in this sense, that I can identify with those spaces unashamed. So the tradition I am in is the one where we poets and seers are so familiar with god that she is lower case and lover as well as UPPER CASE and REGNANT, and in other shapes well known to be pantheist or panentheist as well as immanent and transcendant and not even here at all but still holy. So this is a guide to my symbols, that god often lurks in my poesy, or that my poems express a holy but familiar and approachable universe. If you can't be really really pissed at God, then who?

A Poet's Truth

I am pasting skies
With poems of clouds and stars,
Of suns and bright moons
In vision and ink, papers
That flutter on winds, that rise
Higher than I can,
Higher than I am allowed,
Can't write the last line.


So if that's the universe that I inhabit, then I have a responsibility to measure up or down or sideways. I think I am basically here by permission, and at my own request, a highly irritating position. What was I thinking?? I don't know but I am pretty sure I pressed the issue. So this next poem is a typical argument, really familiar. I get into this alot. Not only with God.

Back when I had a lover, she would irritate me sometimes and I would have to press my point. She would be maddeningly above it all until I finally wore her down. Then I would go home, and by morning I would be able to see my part and stop the righteousness which just never works for me anymore. This all said, she was still on the wrong side of the boundary. But so what? I had to make right on what I said to her and how I left. I guess I did okay with that because that wasn't the issue involved in our separation. We got along really well I think. Still do. So for that matter does she and former lovers before her husband, and her husband, and her kids. And the old folks she took care of for years. She is the common denominator in all that, an odd duck in her way but the most generous woman I have ever known. I often told her so.

Again And Again

In the thicket, caught,
Sure the thorns on all sides
Are meant for my hide.
I'm looking for you,
Sure your work grew this tangle
That's right in my way.
I feel it rising
Hot in me, this urge to strike,
At least to wound you.

It always starts here.
Then it goes inside.
I remember how it goes.
My goddam mirror
Right in front of me again.
How discouraging.

This takes too much time.
I wish it really was you,
Just once, but still me.


  1. That second one is an important one. It's one of the hardest things for us to see, us humans-- that we need to take responsibility for our irritation and other negative reactions to things.

  2. hmphf can't I be right and good all at once for once??

    would you rather be right.
    would you rather be kind.

    is this the hill you will die for?


  3. Oh my ...yes exactly......

    My goddam mirror
    Right in front of me again.
    How discouraging.

    Yes all this taking responsibility stuff can be a pain....
    I like laughing at the mirror at times. It laughs back

  4. That mirror right in front of me... yes, it's hard to face, and often we're forced to look even when we don't want to. Someone is turning our face in that direction and the light is shining and we SEE. Not pretty, sometimes.

  5. I agree that the second poem is so important. Sometimes the thicket is my own doing and no one can get through -- all are thorned trying. And the mirror -- that damn mirror! I like that Linda laughs at the mirror sometimes -- How brilliant really. A very smart woman! :).
    Now my work for the day may be using a machete to cut down all my thorny bushes:) It might make life easier for those around me if I do.
    I always seem to leave here with work to do.:)

    I love the images in the first poem of you pasting the skies. I imagine you standing on the top of your Northern Wall, with a wallpaper roller and lovely lovely papers covered with your beautiful words...reaching higher and higher... Be careful not to fall ;)

  6. Hi all. If you can't have fun with this stuff, you can't really have fun at all. There will be too many demons lurking, because no matter where you go, there you are.

    In AA there is a story, written in the 12x12, that explains it is never good to take anything too serious. We call it Rule 62, this after a group that did take itself so seriously that it died after imposing on itself 61 different rules of conduct and restriction. Rule 62: Don't take yourself so damn serious. Years ago we made cards with this on it and handed them out to people.

    So looking in the mirror requires laughter along with the frowns and tears.

  7. I am pasting too. I like the first poem best, a concentrated sip with just the right feeling that makes me want to stretch with you.

    I came via Poetkat.

  8. Thank you, Ghost. I like it. The folder is filling up with dansing images in ghost light.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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