Monday, November 29, 2010

Waiting For My Life by Linda Pastan

Of all my new poetry finds, this is a favorite.  Every poem is awesome.  Buy poetry and support poets!!!

Waiting For My Life
By Linda Pastan

I waited for my life to start
for years, standing at bus stops
looking into the curved distance
thinking each bus was the wrong bus;
or lost in books where I would travel
without luggage from one page
to another; where the only breeze
was the rustle of pages turning,
and lives rose and set
in the violent colors of suns.

Sometimes my life coughed and coughed:
a stalled car about to catch,
and I would hold someone in my arms,
though it was always someone else I wanted.
Or I would board any bus, jostled
by thighs and elbows that knew
where they were going; collecting scraps
of talk, setting them down like bird song
in my notebook, where someday I would go
prospecting for my life.


"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else." ~Emily Dickinson


There Are Poems
By Linda Pastan

There are poems
that are never written,
that simply move across
the mind
like skywriting
on a still day:
slowly the first word
drifts west,
the last letters dissolve
on the tongue,
and what is left
is the pure blue
of insight, without cloud
or comfort.


"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance." ~Carl Sandburg


What We Want
By Linda Pastan

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names---
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.


In a dream you are never eighty. ~Anne Sexton

The lovely, shy, unique, blushing flowers of my Angel Wing Begonia plant.  I first heard about this plant in a fabulous book that I re-read every year, "The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue" by Barbara Samuel.  The main character had a greenhouse attached to her kitchen (swoon) and had a huge Angel Wing Begonia plant.  I immediately began searching for one and found a tiny, ratty one at a Wal-Mart garden center.  I brought it home and nursed it to health and I now have 5 plants which I propagated from this one.  They're easy to grow and so beautiful. 

Here's a shot of the 'wings' of my plant.  I mean leaves, of course.  It's about 3 feet tall and sits in a tomato cage to hold the heavy limbs up.  She blooms every Fall but I have to look for the flowers as they hide under the leaves.  There's also a varitey with bright green leaves, but I haven't been able to find one of those yet.  It's warm and humid here today, typical Louisiana weather. 

My potted tomato plant is still thriving with 17 tomatoes on it.  I cover it with a sheet on cold nights.  This is the longest I've ever kept a tomato plant alive.  Hell, I might be picking 'maters at Christmas! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week, full of love, family and friends.

Love & Blessings,



I've read all of Ms. Samuel's books and, although this is my favorite, they're all fabulous reads.


"For friends... do but look upon good Books: they are true friends, that will neither flatter nor dissemble." ~Francis Bacon


"The walls of books around him, dense with the past, formed a kind of insulation against the present world and its disasters. ~Ross MacDonald



Eric Alder said...

You always share the most interesting poems, Marion. The title reminds me (all too obviously) of a song by Colin Hay, "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin" - which is a great song!

Margaret Pangert said...

The begonia is oh so sweet! Gorgeous! I feel like that woman sometimes, as though I'm walking around in a dream. Skywriting that disappears. I like her.

Phoenix said...

I think skywriting perfectly describes the process I go through when I start composing a poem in my head when I'm driving, or trying to fall asleep, or anywhere else where I don't have a chance to write down what's crossing my brain. I try to take a photograph, in my head, of all the words, and then write what I can still make out in the sky.

Skywriting indeed :) Thanks for sharing, Marion... I hope your Sweet Potato Souffle recipe came out beautifully.

Wine and Words said...

Loved "Waiting For My Life"! I can relate...and also to There Are Poems. Happens to me all the time. So meaningful and deep these skittered poems, but fleeting. I can't catch them, or call them back once they've moved on.

Love you!

Kelly said...

I like Linda Pastan and these are very nice. I like the middle one best.

Your begonia is beautiful! And I can't believe you still have tomatoes!!!

Did you ever end up getting any rain today? We had some pretty good storms move through this afternoon.

ds said...

I like Linda Pastan, too. Have been reading Queen of a Rainy Country and recommend it if you wish more of her. I'll look for this collection; the poems you cite are gorgeous. Thank you.

Woman in a Window said...

Kinda shuddered at the truth revealed here:

We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.

I really like the distance that is created in this poetry, as though you don't actually have to get messy to see the truth. That's a little new to me.

Marion, I can not help but share in your astonishment at the difference between our climates. I can not for a moment imagine not struggling through the denseness of snow, which ironically holds you closer to the atmosphere somehow, as though in the winter here, you walk raised on an open palm. crunch, crunch, crunch. And when I think of it, with all the rock and hard earth, even so somewhat in the summer too. To live in the lush of where you are makes my brain stutter and get nervous, as though it is about to leap from my head, not sure exactly how it might live in such an environment. I would laugh to see you in the winter pinning wet clothes that freeze solid to the clothes line. As you would laugh to see me stare at a tomato in November as though I'd just had a labotomy:)

love you muchly

Serena said...

Wow, Ms. Pastan is terrific! And your begonia is stunningly gorgeous. I wish I had your green thumb. Alas, my black thumbs are the kiss of death to living green things. Enjoy your LA warmth -- and your tomatoes! It's cold and raining cats and dogs here.:)

Rick said...

I really like her thought process.
her words seem a constant ponder through a crowded room.
especially liked the first.
I wouldve nodded to her as she spoke.
Loved your garden as usual
Much love

Anonymous said...


I have been absent for a long time, but still kept the link of your blog among the blogs which I follow.

All three of Linda Pastan's poems are truly excellent, though I have a slight preference for the second poem.

Your Begonia is gorgeous.

And in response to your previous post:

I am glad that you enjoyed Thanksgiving with your family so very much. And I appreciated the picture of you, April and Sarah.


audrey said...

Hi Marion.

I will be looking for this book of Linda's to add to my collection. I really like the poems you posted. I sometimes feel like I'm still waiting for my life. Is that ridiculous at this age?
Last week we very suddenly went from mild Fall weather to COLD, windy weather. No snow yet, though.
I hope you are enjoying these pre Holiday days!
♥ audrey

Marion said...

Thank you all for your thoughtful, sweet comments. I've been immersed in poetry this week: my house reeks with the words dropped on the floor, the poems hanging in the air...and my hands are black with the markings of the letters. I'm in a blissful state. So many poems, so little time.

I love and appreciate you all. Thanks for your faithful visits and your kind comments. You all rock my world. :-)

Love & Blessings,