Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lucille Clifton, a Woman Who Knows

It's been a while since I posted some poems by my favorite poets, so I'll try to remedy that today. I picked up "Blessing the Boats" by the mighty Lucille Clifton early this morning and fell head over heels back in love with Ms. Clifton's amazing writing. She has no equal, in my humble opinion, and her sense of womanly knowing is phenomenally perfect. She's a survivor.

Here are a few of my favorite poems from this book, which is a delicious poetic feast. Buy it for yourself because you'll need to go back to it over and over again! It's heart-healing, soul-stirring and life-affirming. You'll see---

Blessings, Love & Peace, ~Marion


By Lucille Clifton

to my aunt blanche
who rolled from grass to driveway
into the street one sunday morning.
i was ten. i had never seen
a human woman hurl her basketball
of a body into the traffic of the world.
Praise to the drivers who stopped in time.
Praise to the faith with which she rose
after some moments then slowly walked
sighing back to her family.
Praise to the arms which understood
little or nothing of what it meant
but welcomed her in without judgment,
accepting it all like children might,
like God.


by Lucille Clifton

i was leaving my fifty-eighth year
when a thumb of ice
stamped itself hard near my heart

you have your own story
you know about the fears the tears
the scar of disbelief

you know that the saddest lies
are the ones we tell ourselves
you know how dangerous it is

to be born with breasts
you know how dangerous it is
to wear dark skin

i was leaving my fifty-eighth year
when i woke into the winter
of a cold and mortal body

thin icicles hanging off
the one mad nipple weeping

have we not been good children
did we not inherit the earth

but you must know all about this
from your own shivering life


hag riding
By Lucille Clifton

is what i ask myself
maybe it is the afrikan in me
still trying to get home
after all these years
but when i wake to the heat of morning
galloping down the highway of my life
something hopeful rises in me
rises and runs me out into the road
and i lob my fierce thigh high
over the rump of the day and honey
i ride i ride



Kelly said...

I have that book by Lucille Clifton! Good stuff!

You asked about the Guernsey book... yes, I loved it and think you would, too. Another one I read awhile back that you might enjoy is "Sweet By and By" by Todd Johnson (I think). Oh...and did you ever look at "The River Wife" by Jonis Agee?

Hot as a firecracker around here! ...or as a preacher quoted in a devotional I get, "Hotter than the hinges to the gates of Hades"!

Marion said...

Okay, I thought I'd read "The River Wife" but I don't think I have, so I requested it from the library along with the Todd Johnson book. They both look great. Thanks, Kelly!

Yep, it's hotter than the belly of a rattlesnake crawling across the desert here, too. LOL! Methinks it's only going to get hotter! I've been watering my tomatoes....especially after seeing that they're $1.50 a pound at Wally World. Dang, I've got about two or three hundred dollars worth of green 'maters out there if they all make!!!

Rikkij said...

Marion, everything that comes out from you tells me, "get the hell outa my way! I still got some miles to cover." Love to come here. ~rick

Marion said...

Rick.....I'm blushing, you devil! LMAO!

... Paige said...

thank you

Margaret Pangert said...

I ride, I ride. You go , girl! A very feisty lady! Thanks for the leads, Marion. I have one for you from Dan Gurney at A Mindful Heart ( After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield.

Marion said...

Paige, thank YOU for stopping by.

Margaret, my old copy of "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry" is all dog-eared, coffee-stained and warped from me dropping it into the bathtub while reading. You right, it's an amazing book! I'll check out the blog you mentioned.

Renee said...

If wishes were horses....... I wish your Mom had been at your grad.

Love Renee xoxo

Marion said...

Thanks, Renee. It was a hard time for her, I realize now that I'm all grown up...but still. Love back at you!

Woman in a Window said...

I so wish I had an aunt blanche.

I've seen rumps riding like that before. There's no stopping them.
Thanks for the sharing, Marion.

Marion said...

Erin, I had a truckload of crazy aunts: Aunt Ruth, Aunt Duck, Aunt Mace and Aunt Shirley. They all made Blanche look sane. LOL! Thanks for the visit. I appreciate you!