Yesterday I listened as my favorite spiritual leader, Margaret Holub, struggled for words of consolation after the Pittsburg shooting. She said that words didn’t come quickly to her, and I reflected that anyone to whom words came in facile way after a such a rift in the social fabric would be a charlatan. That online meeting we were a part of was faltering, baffled.
It’s hard to get in touch with grief when the fabric that binds us is stretched so taut that random attacks against schoolchildren, worshipers, politicians who don’t agree with you becomes routine. After all, the unrelenting business of life goes on; you still have to floss your teeth, eat, be somewhere on time.
I think what consoles in these moments is touch, candlelight, song—the primitive ways we come together as human animals in a world that contains darkness beyond words. Taking an extra moment to hold those you love close.
So here’s a song by Aly Halpert:
And last night, thinking about what poem might help, I came up with this:
And Death Shall Have No Dominion
Continue reading “Words don’t come quickly to me”
I got the news that Tony Hoagland, a poet often featured here, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer yesterday. His partner sent out this message:
November 19, 1953 – October 23, 2018
You’ll never be complete, and that’s as it should be.
Inside you one vault after another opens endlessly.
Don’t be ashamed to be a human being– be proud.
I’m sad at the loss–here is a sample of why: Continue reading “A unique voice now quiet”
In case you think that formal poetry is over, A. E. Stallings is able to write poems on contemporary themes using form and rhyme. To wit, a sonnet about bedbugs. Or is it?
Bedbugs in Marriage Bed
Maybe it’s best to burn the whole thing down,
The framework with its secret joineries.
Every morning, check the sheets for blood
As though for tiny lost virginities,
Or murder itself distilled into a drop.
It might take lighter fluid to make it stop:
Maybe it’s best to just give up and move.
Every morning, check the seem of seams. Continue reading “Poems with rhyme and meter”
Today it’s been three weeks since my close encounter with a Jeep. You would think it gives me a lot of time for poetry, but I’m finding it hard to concentrate on anything serious. I did come across this poem, though, which I am passing along:
The Blessed Angels
How much like
angels are these tall
gladiolas in a vase on my coffee
table, as if in a bunch
whispering. How slender
and artless, how scandalously Continue reading “Three weeks”
One of my poet friends who doesn’t live nearby, sent me this this morning. It did cheer me up after a very dispiriting week.
If you have your health, you have everything
is something that’s said to cheer you up
when you come home early and find your lover
arched over a stranger in a scarlet thong.
Or it could be you lose your job at Happy Nails
because you can’t stop smudging the stars
on those ten teeny American flags.
I don’t begrudge you your extravagant vitality.
May it blossom like a cherry tree. May the petals
of your cardiovascular excellence
and the accordion polka of your lungs
sweeten the mornings of your loneliness. Continue reading “Instead of daffodils”
Since my last post, I had an encounter with a Jeep while riding my bike. It didn’t go too well for me, and I’ve been rendered pretty immobile with injuries to my right foot. Luckily, that’s all, and according to the amazing physicians at Highland Hospital, there will be “full functional recovery.” But the process is long and difficult.
Through this all, Larry has come through as a stellar nurse, caretaker, and cheerleader. Not only has he taken on most domestic chores, he is a rock when I am down. Plus, he’s so adorable! I love this photo.
I am lucky to have an ally in this chancy life.