Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Blogger's (Silent) Poetry Reading

Inspired by the poetry reading on the YarnHarlot blog today, I decided to find a poem to share with everyone. The only problem...I couldn't decide which of my three all-time favorites was the worthiest. So, here they all are. Each wonderful in its own way.

#1. I found this poem while I was pregnant for my third son and it made me weep. And it wasn't just the hormones!

Cathy Song

My daughter's long black
hair touches the water

where she sits, waist deep in the warm
bath to receive her baby brother.

I cup the running water,
precious in the summer of drought,

and enter the cool porcelain tub,
my arms weighed with the sturdy

cargo of my infant son.
He lies on his back

and calmly gazes into the faces
of those who love him.

We adore him,
delight in the kernel of toes,

like the youngest of corn,
the bracelets of flesh,

the apricot glow of his skin.
His sister anoints him with the sweetest soap.

And love passes like this,
cloudless in the face of a thousand years---

for the mother who parts the water
and sends

the baby in the reeds

to a young girl who waits,
arms and legs

a small harbor.

#2. This one is so unbelievably sensual I cannot take it! Pablo Neruda is amazing if you don't already know.

"Drunk As Drunk On Turpentine"
Pablo Neruda

Drunk as drunk on turpentine

From your open kisses,

Your wet body wedged

Between my wet body and the strake

Of our boat that is made out of flowers,

Feasted, we guide it our fingers

Like tallows adorned with yellow metal

Over the sky's hot rim,

The day's last breath in our sails.

Pinned by the sun between solstice

And equinox, drowzy and tangled together

We drifted for months and woke

With the bitter taste of land on our lips,

Eyelids all sticky, and we longed for lime

And the sound of a rope

Lowering a bucket down its well.

Then, We came by night to the Fortunate Isles,

And lay like fish

Under the net of our kisses.

#3. This one came to me after my divorce, as I was just falling in love with my husband, and was feeling uncertain if I had it in me again.

"To Have Without Holding"

Marge Piercy

Learning to love differently is hard,

love with the hands wide open,

love with the doors banging on their hinges,

the cupboard unlocked, the wind roaring

and whimpering in the rooms

rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds

that thwack like rubber bands in an open palm.

It hurts to love wide open

stretching the muscles that feel as if they are made of wet plaster,

then of blunt knives, then of sharp knives.

It hurts to thwart the reflexes of grab, of clutch;

to love and let go again and again.

It pesters to remember the lover who is not in the bed,

to hold back what is owed to the work

that gutters like a candle in a cave without air,

to love consciously, conscientiously, concretely, constructively.

I can't do it, you say

it's killing me,

but you thrive,

you glow on the street like a neon raspberry,

You float and sail, a helium balloon

bright bachelor's button blue and bobbing

on the cold and hot winds of our breath,

as we make and unmake in passionate

diastole and systole the rhythm

of our unbound bonding,

to have

and not to hold,

to love with minimized malice,

hunger and anger

moment by moment balanced.


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