Friday, April 1, 2011

Fog by Amy Clampitt and Nothing Stays Put by Amy Clampitt


I have only recently, joyfully discovered the soul-affirming poetry of Amy Clampitt and decided to share my discovery with my poetry peeps.  Enjoy!  Happy weekend to everyone!!  xoxoxo

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Fog
By Amy Clampitt
A vagueness comes over everything,
as though proving color and contour
alike dispensable: the lighthouse
extinct, the islands' spruce-tips
drunk up like milk in the
universal emulsion; houses
reverting into the lost
and forgotten; granite
subsumed, a rumor
in a mumble of ocean.
                      Tactile
definition, however, has not been
totally banished: hanging
tassel by tassel, panicled
foxtail and needlegrass,
dropseed, furred hawkweed,
and last season's rose-hips
are vested in silenced
chimes of the finest,
clearest sea-crystal.
                       Opacity
opens up rooms, a showcase
for the hueless moonflower
corolla, as Georgia
O'Keefe might have seen it,
of foghorns; the nodding
campanula of bell buoys;
the ticking, linear
filigree of bird voices.

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NOTHING STAYS PUT
By Amy Clampitt
                                   In memory of Father Flye, 1884–1985


The strange and wonderful are too much with us.
                  The protea of the antipodes—a great,
                  globed, blazing honeybee of a bloom—
for sale in the supermarket! We are in
                  our decadence, we are not entitled.
                  What have we done to deserve
                  all the produce of the tropics—                 
this fiery trove, the largesse of it
                  heaped up like cannonballs, these pineapples, bossed
                  and crested, standing like troops at attention,
                  these tiers, these balconies of green, festoons
                  grown sumptuous with stoop labor?
                  The exotic is everywhere, it comes to us
before there is a yen or a need for it. The green-
                    grocers, uptown and down, are from South Korea.
                    Orchids, opulence by the pailful, just slightly
                    fatigued from the plane trip from Hawaii, are
                    disposed on the sidewalks; alstroemerias, freesias
                    fattened a bit in translation from overseas; gladioli
                    likewise estranged from their piercing ancestral crimson;
as well as, less altered from the original blue cornflower
                    of the roadsides and railway embankments of Europe, these
                    bachelor's buttons. But it isn't the railway embankments
                  their featherweight wheels of cobalt remind me of, it's
a row of them among prim colonnades of cosmos, 
                    snapdragon, nasturtium, bloodsilk red poppies,
                    in my grandmother's garden: a prairie childhood,
                    the grassland shorn, overlaid with a grid,
                    unsealed, furrowed, harrowed and sown with immigrant grasses,
                    their massive corduroy, their wavering feltings embroidered
                    here and there by the scarlet shoulder patch of cannas
                    on a courthouse lawn, by a love knot, a cross stich
                    of living matter, sown and tended by women,
                    nurturers everywhere of the strange and wonderful,
                    beneath whose hands what had been alien begins,
                  as it alters, to grow as though it were indigenous.
But at this remove what I think of as
strange and wonderful, strolling the side streets of Manhattan
                    on an April afternoon, seeing hybrid pear trees in blossom,
                    a tossing, vertiginous colonnade of foam, up above—
is the white petalfall, the warm snowdrift
                    of the indigenous wild plum of my childhood.
                    Nothing stays put. The world is a wheel.
                    All that we know, that we're
                    made of, is motion.
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I am already walking around barefooted, enjoying Ms. Spring's warmth. 

6 comments:

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

Happy toes and happy prose! :)

GYPSYWOMAN said...

beautiful pieces, lady marion! perfect for a day such as this - the sun shining down between little fluffs of snowy white clouds and a stray breeze stirring things up just enough! oh, yeah, and barefoot days, here i come!!! ;)

Kelly said...

I have you up on a "poetry pedistal" so I always think of you knowing ALL the poets out there, LOL!

Thanks for sharing this one with us, Marion! It's beautiful here today - hope you have the same weather!

Marion said...

Eric, I can tell you're a poet by your feet. They're longfellows. LOL! Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Blessings!

Gypsy, I hope you're getting some of this warm weather. Blessings!

Kelly, it was in the 50's when I woke up (brrrrr) and by noon it was 80 degrees. Love this crazy Spring weather. Blessings!!

I'm having slight formatting issues again. Oh, well!!!

erin said...

marion, i especially love the question in the second poem, What have we done to deserve
all the produce of the tropics—

and then how it is brought full circle to warm snowdrift of the indigenous wild plum of my childhood. that actually was pretty surprising.

and hey, i bought poetry today! i bought poetry! truth be told i buy very little of anything but today, 2 poetry books and an art book on Klimt. imagine that.

enjoy that barefoot weather. is that startling or what! at least the snow melted today. although we're slated for another snowfall next week.

xo
erin

Marion said...

Erin, isn't that poem just effin awesome?

I'm so PROUD of you for buying poetry!! I have several art books on Klmit as he's one of my favorite artists, too. Enjoy your new books, dearest friend. I can barely even imagine snow...hoping Spring visits you soon. Blessings!