The Mind of a Poet

March 19, 2010 at 9:48 am (The Mind of a Poet)

In keeping with the current themes I have been discussing, I decided to post another of the reunion poems this week. As well as exploring the more elemental facets of relationships, these poems also work with the use of simple language, [such as, “this thing between us”] in placement against more complex metaphors and similes to express the depth of emotional, spiritual and physical connections.  This is a constant theme for me–a skill I hope, some day, to master.  For those of you who truly enjoy poetry and would like to see this kind of wordsmithing at its best, I would suggest reading Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Louise Erdrich…to name only a few, and of course, Whitman and the like.  I will, likely, never reach the skill level of these writers, but I intend to continue to work at it.  I hope you enjoy this poem.  And, of course, I hope that I am making progress toward the kind of writing I hope to achieve.  I appreciate being able to share my efforts with you in this place.

This Thing Between Us

 I seek a way to move freely in this
density of feeling.  Your presence, the truth
of this thing between us, no longer memory—
real, pervasive, like steam rising
from the kettle:  your voice in the mist,
a smile forming new on remembered lips.

Each in her own posture, we sit
in the presence of this thing so basic,
so elemental that it has bound us:  always;
an invisible cord of attractions, bending,
pulling, stretching apart to join again
in the taut stillness of matter, of relationship—

vibrating, spinning through a universe of years
and a few short miles of separation.  It is ours
to be moved by this, to hear the unexpected
whisper that shakes us from our waking sleep,
however kind, however adequate, and we are
changed.  It is ours to make manifest

the smell of coffee brewing, oranges
in a bowl, the silent shelves lined with books,
the inside-outward burning of skin, the smoldering
of sheets—ours to rise again and again
in the ordinary way, in the presence of a thing
so far from ordinary.  All that brought us

here takes its place and settles like leaves
as your hand closes over mine; I caress the tip
of your ring finger as if it were another place
on your skin.  There will be time for those places;
for now, we share this time in silence, forcing
nothing, waiting on the will of atoms.

NOTE:  This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.


  1. Scintillectual said,

    I so love this part:

    the smell of coffee brewing, oranges
    in a bowl, the silent shelves lined with books,
    the inside-outward burning of skin, the smoldering
    of sheets

    Very Billy Collins—who is, as you know, my favorite poet (aside from you, of course). I am, as ever, amazed at your talent. You are a true wordsmith and your pen manifests what is whole and real and present. I love your work, as I love you.

    • androgynonamous said,

      Sugar, I don’t know what to say…Thank you for your faith in me, and in my continued attempts to write something worthwhile. Your belief in me lifts me up…and, got me here. We can hope others receive all this half as well as you do!! *grin in your direction* I don’t know about my poetry; but I do know about us, that we are–as you say of my work–“whole and real and present.” I love you too.

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