Saturday, August 6, 2011

Threshold




Threshold


Go with me to
this last doorway
don’t let me fall
because my eyes cloud and fail.

Bring a light
scatter shadows
like seed at a wedding,
preside at the

nuptial of life and death
because we come uncoupled
for this oldest coupling
and surest.

Say my name again
because I need to hear it
because you need to say it
before the end of names.
.
Watch with me
and be my breath
left behind
because desire finally fails.

Tilt your head
so I can see
your face again
in night’s last candle.

In the morning
let the birds
eat the wedding seed
that drops from your hand.


August 2011



This song just seems to want to go with this poem. Best harmony and dobro on this version by Dick Gaughan, EmmyLouHarris, the McGarrigle Sisters and Rufus Wainwright








14 comments:

  1. this seems to be a very unusual voice for you...very reduced words but they hit the more...they stand like pillars and each word seems to be important to hold the "building"...really like the cleanness of this hedge...and this stanza gave me shivers...

    Say my name again
    because I need to hear it
    because you need to say it
    before the end of names.

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  2. This beautiful poem is as quiet as a sunset, and says in a polished way, with originality, something about a subject that so many have written about before. Your pen (keyboard?) is on fire of late, Witch. And of course, I think that Emmylou is always a fine choice!

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  3. The only difference between your thought and mine is I need nor want any one to say my name or drop any last seeds. Just let me go.

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  4. some very haunting lines in this hedge...eating the wedding seed carries good weight, as does the end of names...very nice...

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  5. Nice write, about what many cannot think. I like the music with the poem, but found the music to be much more sad than your write. And I like the scatter shadows.

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  6. Such a quiet sadness. Beautiful write.

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  7. I love the soft voice of this poem.

    Like these lines:

    "nuptial of life and death
    because we come uncoupled
    for this oldest coupling
    and surest."

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  8. Its wonderful, don't you think, that the dance goes on and on, finding fresh nuptials at the doors which lead eventually out of this life? A succession of them, each with a slightly different dance. This love-song celebrates the musk-rose of Keats' "To Autumn," fullest when most emptied, not brash and loud like spring but plush and serene in the sere light of age.

    ... be my breath
    left behind
    because desire finally fails.


    Like my pal Jack Gilbert says, "love lasts by not lasting"; it endures through ever-emptier doors. If the heart embraces every change to come ... Loved it, friend, that wedding seed is still in hand, and still in heart when it falls on the inevitable floor. The pic, by the way, is perfect. Sing on.

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  9. Thanks all, Claudia, brian, annell,MZ, Heaven. A middle of the night poem,at the ebb of the day. No sadder than it has to be, I hope.

    @FB: Thanks for taking the time to read before the start of another long day. I listened to so many versions of Wild mountain Thyme last night I may be humming it for days, but that one seemed the least saccharine.

    @B: yes, exactly. Every poem about leaving is about loving, or farewell would mean nothing. But the ending is a beginning as well, of loving more and better than we can with what we're given here, even if it's only in the shades of ourselves we leave behind,fresh and pungent as rosemary, a handful of scattering seeds...Or so I like to think. I like the Gilbert quote--one of those paradoxical lines that seems impenetrable until you live it.

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  10. Transition to the end with grace. Say my name again. Beautiful and timely with apocalyptic feeling dancing through the world right now.

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  11. This poem uses watercolors, so appropriate to the theme. Each color gently flows into the next, hues melding into perfect lines. Full of rich combinations and savory forms. It’s imbued with passion and wisdom. It reminded me of Niccolò Antonio Zingarelli’s Go Not Far From Me choral piece. Not for any religious reasons, obviously, but for the same pleading and gorgeous song to whatever may guide us as we approach death. There's the tender vulnerability blended with joy, the pregnant possibility of the seeds. EmmyLou Harris is one of the few singers that bring me to tears. I love her Red Dirt Girl album. Thank you.

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  12. Thank you, Anna. I'm glad your painter's eye can see the colors in the mood here, which you've pegged so accurately, since this is a rare poem for me in containing hardly any adjectives at all, even my color words of which I am so fond. I'm glad you liked the music as well--it seemed bound up in the whole. Thanks for taking the time to read in your busy, hosting of the hordes weekend.

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  13. Oh Hedge, that's amazing. I think I may want that read at my funeral... The title is perfect, and as someone else mentioned so is the picture you chose. I always find your poetry goes deep, but this one especially. Kudos.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg