The Mind of a Poet

April 16, 2010 at 7:41 am (The Mind of a Poet) (, )

To those of you who read me fairly regularly, I must apologize for failing to post any poetry for the past couple of weeks.  I did not post any the last week I was with Scin and then, I was swamped after I got back.  I had not written anything new, nor had I taken the time to search existing poems for the right one to post.  I am sorry I have been lax in my work.  I am trying to get back on track with writing and choosing posts.  And, this week’s selection is a new poem.  I hope you like it.

Evening Fire

It is dusk. The evening cry
of dove song moans beneath
the chatter of other birds, distant
traffic, scattered muffled voices. 
The air smells of fresh-cut grass,
a promise of coming rain as well. 

I think of you in this stillness.

Today, the irises began to bud.
A rabbit sits still in the yard
nibbling at a patch of clover.
Dry, cured wood burns slowly
easing the chill with hot embers
glowing deep red, bright orange.

 I long for you in this gloaming.

I will sit with the falling night
like a friend, tend the fire as it fades
to slumber and tomorrow I will build
another—the fire without as the fire
within, the pit high with dry tender,
flame alight with wanting—a burning

beacon to light your way home again.

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.

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The Mind of a Poet

March 16, 2010 at 9:02 pm (The Mind of a Poet) (, )

Better Late Than Never  

I must apologize for being late with [last] Friday’s post.  I was on a plane to see my sweet Scin.  Then, I was…well…getting reacquainted.  Here is the intended post for last Friday.  [I should be on track now.]

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been talking about language and power in terms of the more ancient and mystical understandings of the spoken and written word.  I threw out the idea that poetry–as intentional, fully formed language–has particular power:  the power to heal, to transform, to make manifest all sorts of things in our thinking, our experience of our daily lives, and our world.  I introduced my experience with my writing over the past couple of years:  that I had found myself beginning to write about and explore relationships in regard to reunions, second chances, healing old wounds, and like concepts.  As I did this, my experience in my daily life came to manifest those ideas.  I bumped into people I had not seen in years, heard from people I had not in a long time, and found existing relationships with family and friends deepening in wonderful ways.  It was as if, in some mystical-physics kind of way, I had begun to write things into being–to speak them into being, as it were.  On some level, most of us know that what we think, we manifest.  Our awareness of this universal truth varies based upon our mindset and world view, as well as our level of general awareness; but, we all have some experience with this.  Examples:  we go to a party, meet someone who knows a long-lost friend, then bump into the old friend a day or so later.  We are thinking of an old friend and that person calls.  There are numbers of ways this happens in our lives.

As I said, my experience with this has been interesting.  It has also opened my relationships.  Not surprising, really.  It follows that as we open ourselves and explore ourselves, our lives open, our relationships deepen–our lives expand as we do.  The most significant of these openings and reconnections, of course, has been my reunion with Scin.  I believe we were preparing for–and calling out to in some way–our reunion long before we were aware…and, at the same time.  The way in which the whole re-connection occurred is almost too beautiful to be true; it all unfolded as if it were a story someone had written.  Yet, it is true.  [See www.Scintillectual.com for more on the story.]  The short version is:  I had been thinking about her, re-examining my life (as we are prone to do) in general, and writing all this poetry about reconnections, etc. for a couple of years–all while trying to get the courage to get her on the phone somehow.  She was going through some real changes too, and, eventually woke up in the middle of the night with a need to write about us; she then spent a good part of the next day tracking me down until she got me on the phone.  My response:  “great to hear from you; I’ve been looking for you.”  The rest is, as they say, history.

This poem is one of my favorites of the reunion poems I have been talking about here.  I think it sums up the kind of synchronicity I have been talking about, as well as the power it holds to transform our lives–often, for the better.

Random Lines To You

Your return is an absence so relieved
it is solid, like wood—perhaps a doorway,
a fixing of something essential
to its frame.  We opened this door

stepped across the threshold into a misty
world where our past and who we are now
merge into this newness like the lifting
of a veil.  We are changed and not changed.

I consider your face still like night-blooming
flowers in the fading light:  how it reveals
you, how easily I settle now into the soft
lines, the gentle angles—how I breathe
there and linger.

Here, again, is the sound of your voice:
like warm southern rain on dry, upturned leaves,
a measured cadence out of which laughter comes
like a children’s carousel at dusk in the Fall

of the year.  Here, now, is your love-making
like the breeze blowing blooms off the hollyhocks,
then lifting them lightward into the sun.  This is
my hand at the small of your back, your breath

upon my neck, my exhalation of your name,
your hand in my hair—this is the sound of us,
separate and joined, meeting again and again
everywhere and nowhere, in breath and in stillness:
we are a rhythm as ancient as drums,

as new as this evening breeze
blowing wind chimes on the porch.

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.

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The Mind of a Poet

March 5, 2010 at 10:02 am (The Mind of a Poet) (, )

Because poetry is language, and therefore is thought that is fully formed and intentional, it is powerful on many levels. It is my belief that poetry has power, especially, in the ancient mystical sense–in the sense of naming, of knowing a thing and working a certain will with it. It is because language was seen in this way that Jesus, for example, commanded that the “demons” tell him their name before he dispatched them from the person they were tormenting. This perspective is where invocation, prayer, and ultimately, things like therapy come from. Language has power, both the power to heal–to remove our demons–as well as the power to do harm. Thus, poetry also has the power to heal, to help us make meaning of our experiences, our troubles, our joys, our daily lives. Some time ago, I began to write poems about second chances, about reunions and coming together to heal and create new love, new life. I believe a part of myself was aware that I was sorting through some unresolved love, some missed opportunities [with the same person] and, perhaps, even attempting to call into being the very opportunities about which I was also thinking as I re-examined some aspects of my life. Some of those poems will show up here. But, this week’s offering is the first poem I wrote for Scintillectual after we made the decision to see where our renewed relationship would take us. This poem feels very much like a kind of culmination of all the other conscious, but subconscious, poems that preceded it. I hope you will like it. I hope, too, that Scintillectual is as happy as I am to share it here. It is for her, for all that we share…and, for starting anew, each day, I hope for a long, long time.

Something More Than Promise

I will court you in ways unlike
the others who came in their fevered
immaturity making pledges, but did not
stay—leaving you with promises unfulfilled,

forgotten flannel shirts, the odd sock,
and a ghost-like hurt that wakes before you,
stares at you in the mirror, walks the halls,
then lays its empty chill beside you.

At your garden’s edge, I will build
the cairn of my steadfastness. I will
stack it well with native garnet, granite,
and rocks the river polished long for us.

In the dark night, I will place my warmth
beside you, whisper my intentions—telling you
tales of our life together until they come to be
like live dreams holding hands, rocking slowly

on the porch swing—the rhythm of all things
our rhythm as we age. When morning comes

spilling early sun through the window, I will
still be here beside you, bearing something more
than promise. Around your room, I will
leave hand-written notes on textured paper,

the edges torn like beautiful scars softened
by the words they wear. I will accept you,
the offerings you bring, the love you bear
as the things they are—entities, living things

deserving of regard like a fiery sunset
on the ocean waves: orange, red, and pink
assurance of the essence that is all things,
even us. We will sit at the table I have made

for us from raw wood stained and sanded
to shine satin in the light of our days together.
I will plant for you lilies and irises to fill the view
from the kitchen window—we will watch

as moonlight, sun, rain, and snow bathe the cairn
that is ever there, so much more than promise.

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.

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The Mind of a Poet

February 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm (The Mind of a Poet) (, , )

In much of his work, the poet Wallace Stevens discusses the process of finding what will suffice.  While, in general, he is discussing the poetic process–the process of signification and making meaning–he is also referring to life as a process of making meaning.  He, and most poets worth reading, speak of writing as seeking the word, image, metaphor and/or other signifier that will suffice.  From Yeats or Blake, to Rich or Lorde, all poets discuss this process in a way that is a type of objective correlative for our daily lives.  As we make meaning in and of our lives, are we not seeking what will suffice?  This is a universal thing for poets and other humans.  [Other humans being those of us not driven to poetry which Robert Frost described as a “condition” rather than a profession. *smile*] Good, effective poetry achieves not only what will suffice, but does so in a way that is accessible:  a way that takes what is universal and makes it available for us to process, reaches across our differences and unites us and lifts us up.  In poetry, and in life, if we are attentive in our seeking–and if we are lucky–we find not only what will suffice, but what is more than sufficient.  The making of meaning, I believe, is particularly essential for those of us whose lives have been difficult in regard to feeling part of the commonality of human experience.  Perhaps, this is why I love poetry–the hope of making the common and the uncommon universally accessible.  These are the kinds of thoughts you will find in this category.  As well as a poem or two…or more.  This week’s offering:

I must say that, in my life [at least], I have been blessed to find, now and then, what is sufficient.  The reunion with Scintillectual, however, is one of those rare offerings from the benevolent universe–and ourselves [we could have rejected it]–that is so much more than sufficient.  This is one of my recent poems to her.

Raise Up Your Face

Raise up your face to me

that I may trace your cheek

with mine, brush my lips to yours.

Lift your eyes to mine that you

may feel my longing like dry

leaves, like hungry roots in need

of rain.

Raise up your neck to me

that I may kiss, there, the place

that makes you tremble in my arms.

Wrap your arms around my

shoulders that I may lower you

down, hold you close to my

body entire.

Raise up your breasts to me,

your mouth, your belly; open

yourself to me that I may taste

the sweet warmth of our reunion

and linger—a road weary traveler

gone too long, but now is home

at last.

Raise up your hips to me

that I may touch you, enter

that dark vestibule where all is

light, where the profane becomes

sacred—that place where all you

offer glistens clear, nurturing all

our wanting.

Raise up your face to me

that I may look at you and you

may see me, that we may move

together in the quiet where only we

exist.  Raise up to me your fears, your

doubts, that I may take them with care

and lift you up.  

Lift up your eyes to mine

that we may look into the night

where the we becomes one shining

light. Raise up your self to me

that we may rise and fall like rain

pouring down at last on dry,

hungry leaves.

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.

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