Friday, February 10, 2012

I Heard You Speaking: Home Things

"A poet's word, because it strikes true, moves the very depths of our beings." --Gaston Bachelard

Face To Face

In February living stood still.
The birds flew unwillingly and the soul
chafed against the landscape as a boat
chafes against the pier it lies moored to.

The trees stood with their backs turned towards me.
The deep snow was measured with dead straws.
The footprints grew old out on the crust.
Under a tarpaulin language pined.

One day something came to the window.
Work was dropped, I looked up.
The colors flared. Everything turned round.
The earth and I sprang towards each others.

--Tomas Transtromer

Two hands
were all you owned

for food
for love
                --Jean Valentine

Sleepy Sheep, Sweater for Moses by Jericho Hannah

The Virtues of Patience
I walked all day up the mountain. I broke camp beside a lake. The water as still as ice without the echo of winter in its belly. The sound of whales lulls me; there were no whales. I thought of the sheep in the field. I thought of the sheep that fell over onto their backs and died staring up at the sky. I could not sleep. I could not read or eat. Alone in the woods, early spring. I ran down the mountain, left my tent behind. For fear. I was trying then to get over love lost. I was trying for other things too, ways of changing. The ache in the middle of my body felt like a chunk of ice lodged. The dark of that night made my heart quail. All spring I walked in the pasture with the sheep, every change I got. I dreamed of my own sheep, and sweaters made of dyed wool. Vermilion, Cerulean Blue,  Burnt umber, Yellow ochre, Harvest gold, Orchid or Saffron. I saw a vision of my lost love and me in a log cabin, he laid his hand on my belly--a harvest moon. I did not know where I was going or think of places to end up. I woke from dreams sharp as skate blades and remembered the way the ice of the lake felt on my cheek as a young girl when I used to lie with my ear to the frozen lake listening for the sound of breaking...a sound not unlike the call of whales.

Put a bird on it.


I listened.
We floated together in water
of a bath with
one lit candle,

tall as the tower of Babel,
white like a light house
blinking. But these
were calm waters.

You were content
floating inside of my floating
with the heat of the water
and the winter cold unknown

You did not want
me to hear; I heard you
speaking, not in tongues.
A long sigh

cast like a shadow
across the face of the moon,
a cloud drifting
as in dreams.


woodbird said...

Oh, I can just feel the tender ripeness of you just now, ricocheting through these words. Such beauty.

Emily Arnason Casey said...

yes, and how do your little ones grow?