A new look, a new poem

I was getting tired of the heading for the blog, and also have enough posts that some might want to browse by categories. Melissa Donovan whose skill, patience, and advice were so helpful in setting up the blog in the beginning, did the update last night.  Hope you like it.

To inaugurate the new look, I want to share a poem by Deborah Friedman, one of the poets of Salon 77 and of my writing group. She’s been doing some terrific writing lately, mostly about her father, who died after a long fight with brain cancer. Here is his picture. Though the topic is dark, her poetry has been so tender and moving. When she read this to our group last Monday, I was sorely jealous.

Where the Deer and the Antelope

If I think too long
about the inside of his coffin
it becomes an eyelid,
pellucid and rosy,
that the sun could bleed through
on those rare mornings
when Mount Jacob Cemetery
in Gloucester, Massachusetts
lies undisturbed and empty
of snow and dogs

or of his hands, the last day, nearly purple
and so cold, folded, two lavender pigeons
huddled against January

or of all that which accumulated
in his mouth, not language anymore
but the gummed up juice of frustration
the sweet, unsayable;
words and not-words
churned to a milk he couldn’t swallow

or of his dreaming in garish detail:
running for the train, from the fangs,
on good legs and goutless feet
late, too, too, late
down the aisle of a 747, down
his own throat, to where humming
begins, cowboy lullabies
and cocoa in a tin mug
that he pours, tenderly,
into his boots.

I thought I was done with ironing
but there are tea stains on the skin of the ocean,
a line of paw prints in the sand I follow,
all the way to Marblehead
chanting: breath-death-sparse-parse-
into the wind.

Take all of it apart.

Pick open the seams,
Everything is still wrinkled
and wet.

Deborah Friedman


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