Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire. It’s the crack cocaine of the literary world.
in a Ffordey mood this evening.
-Jasper Fforde, First Among Sequels
When I was a connoisseuse of slugs
I would part the ivy leaves, and look for the
naked jelly of those gold bodies,
translucent strangers glistening along the
stones, slowly, their gelatinous bodies
at my mercy. Made mostly of water, they would shrivel
to nothing if they were sprinkked with salt,
but I was not interested in that. What I liked
was to draw aside the ivy, breathe the
odor of the wall, and stand there in silence
until the slug forgot I was there
and sent its antennae up out of its
head, the glimmering umber horns
rising like telescopes, until finally the
sensitive knobs would pop out the ends,
delicate and intimate. Years later,
when I first saw a naked man,
I gasped with pleasure to see that quiet
mystery reenacted, the slow
elegant being coming out of hiding and
gleaming in the dark air, eager and so
trusting you could weep.
Sharon Olds (from The Dead and the Living, 1984, Alfred Knopf)
one of my favorite writers, one of my favorite poems of his.
Sunday night in the house.
The blinds drawn, the phone dead.
The sound of the kettle, the rain.
Supper: cheese, celery, bread.
For company, old letters
In the same disjointed script.
Old love wells up again,
All that I thought had slipped
Through the sieve of long absence
Is here with me again:
The long stone walls, the green
Hillsides renewed with rain.
The way you would lick your finger
And touch your forehead, the way
You hummed a phrase from the flute
Sonatas, or turned to say,
“Larches—the only conifers
That honestly blend with Wales.”
I walk with you again
Along these settled trails.
It seems I started this poem
So many years ago
I cannot follow its ending
And must begin anew.
Blame, some bitterness,
I recall there were these.
Yet what survives is Bach
And a few blackberries
Something of the “falling starlight”,
In the phrase of Wang Wei,
Falls on my shadowed self.
I thank you that today
His words are open to me.
How much you have inspired
You cannot know. The end
Left much to be desired.
“There is a comfort in
The strength of love.” I quote
You vouchsafed me. Please note
The lack of hope or faith:
Neither is justified.
I have closed out the night.
The random rain outside
Rejuvenates the parched
Foothills along the Bay.
Anaesthetised by years
I think of you today
Not with impassionedness
So much as half a smile
To see the weathered past
Still worth my present while.
Miss Sanderson and the womanly art of parasol self defence via willowclove: muirin007: This is everything I have ever wanted in a photo set ever.