Friday, December 17, 2010

Won't Hold Water

Sunset, Indonesia

Photograph by Wandy Gaotama,

A fisherman in Rawa Pening, central Java, Indonesia

If self is a location, so is love:
Bearings taken, markings, cardinal points,
Options, obstinacies, dug heels, and distance,
Here and there and now and then, a stance.

- Seamus Heaney (born 13 April 1939, is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer. He currently lives in Dublin. Heaney received the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2006. Before this he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past".

Song, by Seamus Heaney

A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.

One of the challenges I have taken up is to use cliches in such an unusual way that they turn out brand new. Like that one, how to write "brand new" into a poetic line so that it turns into a fresh phrase. Or how to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" in a new way, what I did in this poem.

Won't Hold Water

There is a lost place
inside my old wrinkled life
left behind when you
threw the baby out
with the used up bathwater.

Now I seem to leak.

September 23, 2009 12:57 PM
last line revised
‎December ‎17, ‎2010 5:02 PM

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