Friday, March 18, 2011
On Other Poets
On Other Poets
I sometimes sit and read other poets’ verse
And it occurs to me that there are as many
Views of the sunset as there are eyes to see.
I do not speak of the funny lines
That celebrate the child within, but instead of
The daffodil in the forest, a souvenir of
Some pioneer’s woman who wasted space
In the yard for that which her children could not eat.
I do not speak of the alphabet rhymes
Crafted to teach her child his letters one by one,
I do not call up the dance in giddy sunshowers
Waiting for true love to come.
I want the words that carve the stone of poverty,
The rock of war, the pangs of birth
And the joy of watching the sun emerge from
A formless gray blanket of swirling mist.
I want the words that call up the shades of men
Who died to save the world we love.
I want to hear the clang of sledge on iron,
The rasp of saw on redwood flesh,
The sing of line the fishers cast,
The thespian’s song as he works his art,
The plane in the sky, the cop on his beat,
The cook at the grille, the sweeper of streets,
The cry of the newborn, soon silenced at breast
The secret of love kept deep in your chest,
The hope and the fear and a rest in the shade,
The debt and the prize with taxes prepaid,
The chatter of children, the purring of cats…
I want to hear these in the mind’s ear – and more
Recording our time with the splendor of yore,
A ransom of thought, a pathway to freedom –
Hard won and hard fought…
I want to feel rainbows that lodge in the heart
The shifting of dreams that leave with no mark
I want to hear giggles of babies at play
The song of a thrush at the cool break of the day.
The masters of verse have harvested these
In a wealth of lost words that leave us a scene,
A look at the world that they so strongly weaved
In a place lost in warstorm, in dismal dark scenes.
I love the old poems, that tell who we are
The ones that inspire to follow love’s star –
The song of the sachem and the prayer feather beat
The march of time that flows down each street,
The clatter of cans on trash pickup day,
The carillion that rings out and calls us to pray,
The teakettle’s whistle, the somber dark hearse
The snips, and the scraps – all the bones of great verse.
I may not be famous, I may not be known
But I will leave words to show how I’ve grown
In a world not always quite gentle or wise
But a place I have seen through the word weaver’s eyes.
The world that that God gives us to save and to mend
In the hope of sweet rest
When it comes to the end.
I'm working on a new book of poetry these days, spring sunshine always help the creative process. Hope you like this effort and that you keep on the sunny side!