Monday, April 5, 2010

Prayer to the Muse of Ordinary Life by Kate Daniels

Waterfall at Hodges Gardens State Park

Herb Garden at Hodges Gardens State Park

Prayer to the Muse of Ordinary Life
by Kate Daniels

I seek it in the steamy odor
of the iron pressing cotton shirts
in the heat of a summer afternoon,
in my daughter's ear, the warm pink
cone, curling inward. I seek it
in the dusty circles of the ceiling fan,
the kitchen counter with its painted shells
from Hilton Head, the creaking boards
in the bedroom floor, the coconut
cookies in the blue glass jar.
The hard brown knob of nutmeg nestled
in the silver grater and the lemon
yogurt that awaits. I seek it not
in books but in my life inscribed
in two brief words–– mother, wife
– the life I live as mistress of an unkempt
manse, volunteer at firstborn's
school, alternate Wednesdays'
aide at youngest's nursery, billpayer,
laundress, cook, shrewd purchaser of mid­-
priced minivan. I seek it
in the strophes of a life
like this, wondering what
it could be like, its narratives
drawn from the nursery and playpen,
its images besmirched with vomitus
and shit. The prayer I pray is this:

If you are here,
where are you?
If you exist,
what are you?
I beg you
to reveal yourself.
I will not judge,
I am not fancy.
My days are filled
with wiping noses
and bathing bottoms,
with boiling pots
of cheese-filled pasta
for toothless mouths
while reading Rilke,

My life is broken
into broken pieces.
The fabric is rent.
Daily, I roll
the stone away
but all is dark
inside, unchanged.
The miracle has not
happened yet.

If you are anywhere
nearby, show me
anything at all
to prove you do exist:
a poem in a small, soiled
nightie, a lyric
in the sandbox voices
raised in woe.

Release a stanza
from the sink's hot suds
where dirty dishes glow.
Seal a message inside:
encourage me
to hold on.
Inform me
in detail
exactly how to do it.

From: "Poetry Daily - 366 Poems From the World's Most Popular Poetry Website", page 159, 160

Poetry anthologies are like giant buffets of poetry.  This one is amazing and I've just about worn it out from reading it over and over.  If you're new to poetry, anthologies are the way to go.

Happy Monday!




"It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things." ~Stephen Mallarme


"You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you." ~Joseph Joubert



Kelly said...

I've been to that waterfall!!!

I have that book, too, and have found some wonderful poems in it.

Don't sit still for too long, Marion, or you might get covered in a layer of yellow, LOL!

Phoenix said... inspiring. I love poems to ordinary objects or about ordinary days... they have such truth in them that I can relate to.

Love it.

Marion said...

Kelly, the day I posted my little waterfall & camping photos at Facebook for family members to see, my daughter in Chattanooga posted a waterfall picture...of a waterfall going down this HUGE mountain! She and a friend had driven to Georgia with the kids and climbed a mountain just to see this magnificent waterfall. I told her my waterfall looked like broken plumbing compared to her fab photos! LOL! Yes, the Pine pollen....never live in a city with the word "Pine" in it and expect to NOT become yellow for a month in spring. ;-) Love & Blessings!

Me, too, Phoenix. I think the Muse of ordinary days is my muse....and then, I think, there are no ordinary days. Love & Blessings!

Terresa said...

A giant buffet of poetry sounds scrumptious!

Terresa said...

PS: That poem (Prayer to the Muse of Ordinary Life) is my life at the moment. Thank you for sharing it!

Woman in a Window said...

Marion, you've got it right, there is no ordinary. I think perhaps, it is the constant movement of time that forces us to pay attention and give thanks for the ordinary. Today's ordinary is tomorrow's memory.


Serena said...

Lovely! And I love the sight of all waterfalls, so I think yours is beautiful. Less is sometimes more.:)

grete said...

Marion -

I came to you rich and gorgeous blog after posting about the ordinary life myself. What coincidence! The poem by Kate Daniels touched me. And the anthology of poems is already on my Amazon wish list. Thanks for recommending it.

I like your red wheel barrow.....


Wine and Words said...

Oooooo I loved this.
"show me
anything at all
to prove you do exist:
a poem in a small, soiled
nightie, a lyric
in the sandbox voices
raised in woe."

and this is exactly where proof is found...a daily revelation in birth and death and all the moments in between.

Yummy this.


quid said...

I'm awash in pine pollen. I feel your pain.

Came to visit this lovely poem.

I have a rule against dog-earing book pages. The only time I violate that? Poetry anthologies. Keillor's "Good Poems" has nearly every page dog-eared!