Thursday, July 26, 2012

Incense and Smoke

A guest poet - there is no title:

Let me make this perfectly clear.
I have never written anything because it is a Poem.
This is a mistake you always make about me,
A dangerous mistake. I promise you
I am not writing this because it is a Poem.

You suspect this is a posture or an act
I am sorry to tell you it is not an act.

You actually think I care if this
Poem gets off the ground or not. Well
I don't care if this poem gets off the ground or not
And neither should you.
All I have ever cared about
And all you should ever care about
Is what happens when you lift your eyes from this page.

Do not think for one minute it is the Poem that matters.
It is not the Poem that matters.
You can shove the Poem.
What matters is what is out there in the large dark
and in the long light,
- Gwendolyn MacEwen, Afterworlds

Now I wish I had written that!! Way to go!!!

Wiki says:
Gwendolyn Margaret MacEwen (1 September 1941 – 29 November 1987) was a Canadian poet and novelist. A "sophisticated, wide-ranging and thoughtful writer," she published more than 20 books in her brief life. "A sense of magic and mystery from her own interests in the Gnostics, Ancient Egypt and magic itself, and from her wonderment at life and death, makes her writing unique.... She's still regarded by most as one of the best Canadian poets." Though she was highly educated, she was also a high school dropout and self educated beyond that point. MacEwen died in 1987, at the age of 46, of health problems related to alcoholism.

Incense And Smoke

A scatter of views
All find their way to corners
Where they start new homes.

The trouble with letting go
Of them is how they part ways
Even though they come
From the same complex of light,
From still deeper sound.

I find I clasp them
As if I owned them
But they are incense and smoke.

Written November 22, 2008
First Published February 21, 2009
Blog post upgraded and MacEwan added, July 26, 2012


  1. oh, that canadian spunk! (what is it with canadian's and spunk? i swear, it goes directly to the weather and landscape. we pop out of the womb fighting for survival.)

    yesterday talking with james in the kitchen we discovered one of the fundamental truths of life (and then quickly forgot it) but said, why is it so obvious and yet for so long we didn't see it? incense and smoke)))


  2. I certainly see you that way, dollink. Canadian spunk walking. Actually I think of you as a demonstrative act of passion.

  3. both poems are amazing. i also feel a flush of pride for the Canadian .... being one myself.

    your use of the corner was delightful.

    and i will be thinking and dwelling long after i lift my eyes from the words i read here tonight.

  4. Christopher, I used to like in Buffalo, NY, spittin' distance from Canada, and still root for Canadians in the Olympics! (Part of the reason my Tea Party sisters hate me, but hardly the main one.) THANK YOU for sharing the first, which is my attitude as well: Screw the writing, did it inspire you to ACT? And yours, ethereal, as lovely as that last wisp of smoke as a candle is extinguished. Peace, Amy


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

Get Your Own Visitor Map!