There are times when a confluence of events, feelings, opportunity and phrases conspire to connect, perhaps in conversation to create an entirely new form of expression or possibility. This has happened to me while working with a piece of stone. It has happened when a poem comes full-blown to the page. And sometimes, as recently, it happens unbidden. Starts as a niggle at the edge of consciousness. Morphs about inside, noting and absorbing layers and dimensions. Spillls onto the page this way, then that. Finally challenges me to approach it intentionally. As, in the case of the brief poem below, even experimentally.
I welcome your comments and observations, curious what you glean from the words, their arrangement, any possible resonance for you personally. And thank you for reading.
AT THE NEW MOON
this black zero of beginning
to expand, to deepen
to become full. The new wanting
to bid old ways goodbye
beckons to push through
a second chance to fill
Start close up, sense
the gift of a new phase
a whisper undiscerned
on the dawn’s breeze,
a seed in you
waiting to spread against a future sky
become visible while carrying
the light within
your gift to others
It is early, and about to grow.
This is my first experiment with a double-poem-that-makes-a-third. 'At the New Moon' is 'found' from Marge Piercy's ‘Head of the Year.' 'Rebirth' celebrates a turning in DC's life.
The morning, chill and gray,
turned me inward seeking warmth,
some reassurance that winter
is still a few months at bay.
After the requisite morning walk,
my pup settled on the deck
for breakfast and bunny-watch,
my eyes wandered beyond the railing
to see three tall hydrangea blooms
in full autumn blaze – every shade
of deep purple, lavender, violet -
the dark to light blues of an entire summer
rising tall above the bush’s rough-edged
green leaves marooning already
in the cooling nights of just-October.
As is my custom to keep fresh flowers
on the table, I harvested these
late season blues bringing all their hues
of experience and hope to my view
within, up close and reassuring.
How we all love to pick apples,
sink expectant teeth into unsuspecting flesh
that spews sweet spray onto one another’s faces
the crunch a clarion call - and come they do!
How my boy, not yet two, would grab and gnaw
his little white teeth across the red surface,
sink slowly into the sweetness hiding there
to his eye-widening delight; and how I imagine
him slinging his own baby boy across his slim back
reaching the same long arms for one, then another,
testing four teeth against the slippery skin
and likely dropping it before he gains traction enough
for a true taste. What is it about fall
that brings a grown daughter home every year
to climb a tree, snap a few selfies
and slide more than a few luscious bites
of Macintosh, Macoun and Cortland into her
waiting mouth? To the other, I mail packages
packed with care to preserve a pair of Mac’s
and a jar of jam. Already I have stewed and frozen
vats of Macinsauce, simmered pints of golden brown
apple butter, baked muffins and pie and crisp
and crumble, all this New England fare of yore
begging for more. How grateful I for the crunch
of each fall afresh with plucking and picking up
what fell from weight or wind, as I fall
into delirium with each delicious bite.
Photos by Jim Hester, Fall 1990. Both are slides; the second is a phone capture from slide - clumsy technology but a favorite shot.
Just as we dreamed it. Sitting side by side, distant mountains reviewing the hills climbed, crags staggered over, valleys descended. Drained now of color, just the essence of Us. Together. Remembering. Being. More real than the dream lost by your too-early death. This, too, I remember.