Thursday, April 18, 2013

You Know Who You Are by Naomi Shihab Nye

You Know Who You Are
By Naomi Shihab Nye

Why do your poems comfort me, I ask myself.
Because they are upright, like straight-backed chairs.
I can sit in them and study the world as if it too
were simple and upright.

Because sometimes I live in a hurricane of words
and not one of them can save me.
Your poems come in like a raft, logs tied together,
they float.
I want to tell you about the afternoon
I floated on your poems
all the way from Durango Street to Broadway.

Fathers were paddling on the river with their small sons.
Three Mexican boys chased each other outside the library.
Everyone seemed to have some task, some occupation,
while I wandered uselessly in the streets I claim to love.

Suddenly I felt the precise body of your poems beneath me,
like a raft, I felt words as something portable again,
a cup, a newspaper, a pin.
Everything happening had a light around it,
not the light of Catholic miracles,
the blunt light of a Saturday afternoon.
Light in a world that rushes forward with us or without us.
I wanted to stop and gather up the blocks behind me
in this light, but it doesn’t work.
You keep walking, lifting one foot, then the other,
saying “This is what I need to remember”
and then hoping you can.

from:  "Words Under the Words" by Naomi Shihab Nye, page 22


Wild Spring storms here in the swamp today.  So far, Spring has been violent as if the earth is giving birth...not an "easy" birth, but a difficult, excruciating, wildly harrowing birth. 

Today is "Poem in Your Pocket" day.  April is National Poetry Month which I don't celebrate because every single hour of every day is Poetry Day here at Casa Dragonfly. 


PS:  Congratulations to the illustrious, amazingly brilliant Sharon Olds for winning the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, 2013, for her book "Stag's Leap".


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


Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know. ~Joseph Roux, Meditations of a Parish Priest


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mules of Love by Ellen Bass

One of my favorite books of poetry:  "Mules of Love" by Ellen Bass.  I've been away gardening, sprouting seeds, reading, writing and being depressed.  Not necessarily in that order.  xo

God and the G-Spot
by Ellen Bass

“He didn’t want to believe. He wanted to know.”
--Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan’s wife, on why he didn't believe in God.

I want to know too. Belief and disbelief
are a pair of tourists standing on swollen feet
in the Prado--I don't like it.
I do.--before the Picasso.

Or the tattoo artist with a silver stud
in her full red executive lips,
who, as she inked in the indigo blue, said,
I think the G-spot's one of those myths
men use to make us feel inferior.

God, the G-spot, falling in love. The earth round
and spinning, the galaxies speeding
in the glib flow of the Hubble expansion.
I'm an East Coast Jew. We all have our opinions.

But it was in the cabin at La Selva Beach
where I gave her the thirty tiny red glass hearts
I'd taken back from my husband when I left.
He'd never believed in them. She, though, scooped
them up like water, let them drip through her fingers
like someone who has so much she can afford to waste.

That's the day she reached inside me
for something I didn't think I had.
And like pulling a fat shining trout from the river
she pulled the river out of me. That's
the way I want to know God.


Poem to My Sex at Fifty-One
By Ellen Bass

When I wash myself in the shower
and afterward, as I am drying
with the terrycloth towel,
I love the feel
of my vulva, the plump outer lips
and the neat inner ones
that fit together trimly
as hands in prayer.  I like
the feel the slick crevice and the slight
swelling that begins
with just this casual handling.
So eager, willing as a puppy.
When I was young I could
not have imagined this
as I looked at women like me,
my waist thickened like pudding,
my rear end that once rode high
as a kite, now hanging like a
sweater left out in the rain,
skin drooping, not just the dewlaps
or pennants that flutter
under the arms, but all over,
loosening from the bone like boiled
chicken.  And it will only
get worse.  But that fleshy
plum is always cheerful.  And new.
A taut globe shining
in an old fruit tree.

From:  "Mules of Love" by Ellen Bass


"For women the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time." ~Isabel Allende