Posts tagged with ‘poetry’

from “The Spell” by Marie Howe

kfan:

Every day when I pick up my four-year-old daughter from preschool
she climbs into her back booster seat and says, Mom—tell me your story.
And almost every day I tell her: I dropped you off, I taught my class
I ate a tuna fish sandwich, wrote e-mails, returned phone calls, talked with students
and then I came to pick you up.
And almost every day I think, My God, is that what I did?

Yesterday, she climbed into the backseat and said, Mom
tell me your story, and I did what I always did:
  I said I dropped you off
taught my class, had lunch, returned e-mails, talked with students…
  And she said, No Mom, tell me the whole thing.

And I said, ok. I feel a little sad.
And she said, Tell me the whole thing Mom.
And I said, ok Elise died.

Elise is dead and the world feels weary and brokenhearted.
And she said, Tell me the whole thing Mom.
And I said, in my dream last night I felt my life building up around me and
  when I stepped forward and away from it and turned around I saw a high
  and frozen crested wave.

  And she said, the whole thing Mom.
Then I thought of the other dream, I said, when a goose landed heavily on my head—
But when I’d untangled it from my hair I saw it wasn’t a goose but a winged serpent
writhing up into the sky like a disappearing bee.

And she said, Tell me the whole story.
And I said, Elise is dead, and all the frozen tears are mine of course
and if that wave broke it might wash my life clear,
    and I might begin again from now and from here.

And I looked into the rearview mirror—
She was looking sideways, out the window, to the right
    —where they say the unlived life is.

Ok? I said.
And she said, Ok, still looking in that direction.

One Heart
by Li-Young Lee

One Heart

by Li-Young Lee

Postscript, Seamus Heaney

poetry365:

And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stone
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

The Gate

I had no idea that the gate I would step through
to finally enter this world

would be the space my brother’s body made. He was
a little taller than me: a young man

but grown, himself by then,
done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet,

rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the cold
and running water.

This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me.
And I’d say, What?

And he’d say, This—holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich.
And I’d say, What?

And he’d say, This, sort of looking around.

—Marie Howe

Realllly into this collection of poems about bodies that kimmy arealliveghost put together

Realllly into this collection of poems about bodies that kimmy arealliveghost put together

Air Shatters In The Car’s Small Room, by Donald Hall

Air Shatters In The Car’s Small Room, by Donald Hall

from “The Spell” by Marie Howe

kfan:

Every day when I pick up my four-year-old daughter from preschool
she climbs into her back booster seat and says, Mom—tell me your story.
And almost every day I tell her: I dropped you off, I taught my class
I ate a tuna fish sandwich, wrote e-mails, returned phone calls, talked with students
and then I came to pick you up.
And almost every day I think, My God, is that what I did?

Yesterday, she climbed into the backseat and said, Mom
tell me your story, and I did what I always did:
  I said I dropped you off
taught my class, had lunch, returned e-mails, talked with students…
  And she said, No Mom, tell me the whole thing.

And I said, ok. I feel a little sad.
And she said, Tell me the whole thing Mom.
And I said, ok Elise died.

Elise is dead and the world feels weary and brokenhearted.
And she said, Tell me the whole thing Mom.
And I said, in my dream last night I felt my life building up around me and
  when I stepped forward and away from it and turned around I saw a high
  and frozen crested wave.

And she said, the whole thing Mom.
Then I thought of the other dream, I said, when a goose landed heavily on my head—
But when I’d untangled it from my hair I saw it wasn’t a goose but a winged serpent
writhing up into the sky like a disappearing bee.

And she said, Tell me the whole story.
And I said, Elise is dead, and all the frozen tears are mine of course
and if that wave broke it might wash my life clear,
    and I might begin again from now and from here.

And I looked into the rearview mirror—
She was looking sideways, out the window, to the right
    —where they say the unlived life is.

Ok? I said.
And she said, Ok, still looking in that direction.

from “I Love a Broad Margin to My Life” by Maxine Hong Kingston

The Metropolitan Police, the men, stood
in one-line formation. The women, we,
the demonstrators, drew one another close.
We were a bouquet knot of pink roses.
How can it be that all the cops are men,
and all for Peace women? I can’t live
in such a world. I don’t want to keep
living out the myth that men fight
and women mother. We regressed—the junior
high dance. One boy crossed
the wide floor, chose one girl,
escorted her back to the other side, where
he arrested her. “My wife
is gonna kill me,” said a black cop;
“I’m arresting Alice Walker.” “Don’t hold
hands with me,” said a white cop,
shaking off his partner, who was smiling up
at him, “Don’t take my arm either.”

Maxine Hong Kingston

"How Some of It Happened" by Marie Howe

My brother was afraid, even as a boy, of going blind—so deeply
that he would turn the dinner knives away from, looking at him,

he said, as they lay on the kitchen table.
He would throw a sweatshirt over those knobs that lock the car door

from the inside, and once, he dismantled a chandelier in the middle
of the night when everyone was sleeping.

We found the pile of sharp and shining crystals in the upstairs hall.
So you understand, it was terrible

when they clamped his one eye open and put the needle in through his cheek
and up and into his eye from underneath

and left it there a full minute before they drew it slowly out
once a week for many weeks. He learned to, lean into it,

to settle down he said, and still the eye went dead, ulcerated,
breaking up green in his head, as the other eye, still blue

and wide open, looked and looked at the clock.

My brother promised me he wouldn’t die after our father died.
He shook my hand on a train going home one Christmas and gave me five years,

as clearly as he promised he’d be home for breakfast when I watched him
walk into that New York City autumn night. By nine, I promise,

and he was—he did come back. And five years later he promised five years more.
So much for the brave pride of premonition,

the worry that won’t let it happen.
You know, he said, I always knew I would die young. And then I got sober

and I thought, OK, I’m not. I’m going to see thirty and live to be an old man.
And now it turns out that I am going to die. Isn’t that funny?

—One day it happens: what you have feared all your life,
the unendurably specific, the exact thing. No matter what you say or do.

This is what my brother said: Here, sit closer to the bed
so I can see you.

Shiina Ringo - The Apple’s Song

Doesn’t the unfurling of the five-leaf mean autumn is here?
Do you feel lonely when the seasons slip by so silently?

Please wipe away your tears and lift your face.
Look! Soon even I will be bearing fruit.
In the winter I will pour nectar into them
And deliver them to you.

What I admire most is humans.
That they can cry, laugh—is amazing.

Only now have I come to know my name.
Just as you say it — “Apple.”
The fruit was delicious
So I’ll bear them every year.

Bon appetit—
The fruit of sin.