Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Words that burn, cut, and heal

I love the way poets cut to the chase. Here are a couple of gems from Mary Bradley's new collection of poems:

Give Us This Day

Have you ever gone out before dawn
To discover, on the door-sill of the day,

Geese asleep on the bank of the river,
Every long neck looped,
Every sleek head tucked under a wing?

Or seen a fox,
Her tail streaming like a flag,
Arrow home over frozen fields
To dissolve in the blink of an eye into the woods?

Or watched sparrows--drab and disorderly,
Quarreling in fat voices over oily seeds at the feeder,
feathers rucked up by the wind, as they
Teeter and sway on their toes like little drunks?

If you have, then you might know this secret--

How everyday gulls along the shore
Flare and take to the sky at first light.

Come kick off the covers of sleep
Accept your share in morning's gold beauty;

Payment enough for us,
Poor beggars that we are,
Living from breath to breath.


In Another Life

Imagine August sun.
The willow pond is deeply cold.
The tire swing burns our bare feet
As we arc over the pool, then leap!
Icy water, closes over our heads, and
Silences the blue jay's scraping call in an instant.
This delicious day!
Screen door slamming after dinner,
We jump onto our bikes
And race each other to the meeting tree.
Making tomorrow's plans,
We track the summer nights
Across the hilltops of our childhood.
Finding the Big Dipper,
Counting shooting stars.
While time stands at a respectful distance,
Eavesdropping on our easy conversations,
While we grow up together in another life.


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-karen ann. said...
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-karen ann. said...

yes, i love how poets slice through the impenetrable blackstrap molasses of life to reveal things clearly, if obliquely. i used to have poetry wrapped around my brain, i breathed it, i wrote it, i read it. can i live that way again? what about poetry friday? have you ever done that?

the poems, especially sing now karla kuskin's passed away. poems to lost poets. thank you, richard

Richard Jesse Watson said...

No, Karen Ann, I haven't done poetry friday, sounds yummy. We all live poetry, often unwittingly. It is everywhere waiting to dazzle us. For instance, my granddaughter just saw that my cat had killed a bird. She glared at the hunter and scolded, "You are a Meany Mustard!".

Jenifer said...

I didn't hear about the sighting so thanks for the link to the article and letting me know about it
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ruthie said...

Beautiful words! i love the first one especially. poetry has a way of catching hold of me and pulling me to a standstill, taking time to savour each word & allowing it to sink gently in . thank you richard

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Nicely put. It does require stepping out of time and listening.