I’ve watched you on the beam,
all long legs and determination.
Over and over the cartwheel
launched with good vision,
feet seeking blindly the graceful
I have to tell you now,
there is no perfection
on this gravity-massive earth.
But there is always-getting-better.
I’ll tell you this as well, though
you are not the girl for metaphor—
You need these same skills
for every challenge: balance,
trust, strength in the core.
There is a chasm between two souls
deeper than the deepest ocean rift
and more full of watered mystery
To have given birth is not enough
To have carried and nursed is not enough
To love with this whole fractured being is not enough
We have a deeper communion, perhaps
with Other than with each other
That knowledge is not enough
I’ve often dreamt of your drowning
torn from my arms and lost in black water
It is the deep calling to the depths in us
Shall we take the plunge? Shall we sink ourselves
to the very floor of the abyss—abandon all
claim to one another and therein find our kinship?
*9 May 2015…A year since I wrote this, I’m realizing it’s a Mother’s Day poem of sorts…
Inspired by We Drink Because We’re Poets Prompt #9: Write a poem inspired by a Latin proverb. I was interested to find that there are at least two interpretations of this one, “deep calls to deep” (taken straight from the Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 42) and “hell calls to hell” (meaning, loosely, that one bad thing leads to another). I’ll have to prefer the first sense.
Rain splashing on metal and leather,
and running down. This camping in heather
a mistake; he had no notion whether
the storm would abate. He felt for the feather
and clutched it as he lay, remembering.
In that space was a curious curving
for near the moment, his mind went swerving
to some happier time. A method, perhaps, of preserving
sanity (all too late); he had made a vow of serving
the arts that had brought him to this hill.
Swept from black tables and made to dance—
so his master now owned him. Without a backward glance
he had entered magic’s dark waters; mere chance
that his brain in one lucid moment might advance
this truth: The ravens had been the first warning.
Inspired by We Drink Because We’re Poets Poetry Prompt #7: Complex instructions here. The short version is, line 10 from a book, rhymed into a stanza; repeat as desired. My first lines (and title) come from JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL, by Susanna Clarke.
Resolutions, in the end, never fail
to make me a liar
In the beginning I vowed
a month of poems
They were going to astound you
beautiful and profound
Inspired by Quickly’s Prompts #21: Take something from beginning to completion. I have a little trouble with completion…
I’ve had this dream more than once
and wonder what awful trauma
is buried behind: in a dark room
rises a stair tilted steep, no reason
for its existence but to make me climb
Curious, I begin (oh, curious excuse!)
and in doubt I continue, slightly
dizzy in my mind (stumbling through black)
until I overstep the top, and fall
Inspired by Quickly’s Prompts: Write a poem using at least six of the following words: black, curious, caprice, awful, reason, continues, slightly, buried, doubt, stair, mind, declare. (Yes, I cheated again; there is supposed to be no more than one of these words per line.) I was sufficiently disturbed/inspired by these stair photos at A Parallel World.