Saturday, February 22, 2014

Old Pails (some poems)

As a writer, I'm a poet first. This poet-me is burrowed deep inside and is probably the closest to the core of who I am (but who can ever truly get to their core?). I thought I'd post a few poems I wrote a while ago. I hope you enjoy them.


Part One 

Remind me there’s beauty
in what’s broken.

The crisp break of
orange and yellow,
crimson and brown,
holdouts from a season,
crunching underfoot.

Remind me there’s beauty
in what’s broken.

The wail and moan from a piper—
can there be a more mournful sound?
Listen as it rents this silence in two,
my breath caught between each note.

Remind me there’s beauty
in what’s broken.

The sky burst open, raining down the dark.
A slice of moon, its other side lost.

Remind me there’s beauty
in what’s broken.

A battered pail,
filled with pebble and shell.
An offering too bountiful
from such small hands.

Remind me there’s beauty
in what’s broken.

Remind me.
Remind me.
Remind me.

Part Two

A small world gone tighter.
Each space,
each soft and easy place,
squeezed and pulled
between the rolls.

A black hole or a manhole—
how to choose?
Better to have all of it absorbed,
with no reflection known,
or to stumble and trip,
fumble and flip,
a pratfall of broken bones?

A leaf in a stream drifts and floats,
a Maggie Tulliver for the botany set.
Going forward, always forward,
drowning in the movement.

The sun, when setting,
is perfect.
Can that not be enough?
I hold that colour,
in another space, true,
and wait for the
next light to come.

Part Three 

Here's a quick tip--

Counting coins and
stacking chairs and
flicking on the lights
before the show is
even over,
is not bearing witness.

Covering your ears
to hide the grooves
my words have etched
with their endless, concentric circles,
is not bearing witness.

From wall to wall darting,
from watch to window jumping,
flitting, flitting, flitting,
like a jacked up butterfly,
is not bearing witness.

Using your death row shuffle
to discreetly drop behind,
when all that remains is
just around the corner
(right over there!),
is not bearing witness.


Taking your hands to
spackle, patch, and  prettify,
rather than to gather, cup, and carry,
when I offer up the broken bits
(oh so timorously),
is not bearing witness.

Part Four 

Slippers whisper across the floor.
A soft sound,
a barely-there sound.
Who needs noise to make
a cup of tea?

But now is not the time for words.

Blow into a balloon
all of that hot, heavy air.
Get the loudness out.

Watch your lost words grow.
Watch the noise go soft and round,
the sound like slippers on the floor.

Do you remember?

Not in a month of Sundays,
you whispered as I bit your ear,
skin still so ripe, pulse tattooing
its beat against my cheek.

Not until hell freezes over and pigs fly,
you later promised,
skin a loose rice paper,
a flimsy cover for what lay beneath.

Still these offerings up to me,
still from that same battered pail.

And still, I believed you. 


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