Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What The Old Woman Said About Love

What The Old Woman Said About Love

After spring has brought her basket of eggshells
and autumn has pulled her naked tent-pegs
sixty-six times,  love looks mostly
like a toy with all its wheels off, laid down gently,
left out to revolve in a kaleidoscope of rust;
or a glimpse of blue wings moving,
disappearing in clear day, some legend's
feather passing, blurred in the ache of sky.

Sleeping senses kick up a clumsy memory
of summers you breathed roses
on the terrace of my breasts, when stars
sifted down, sand-paintings in your eyes,
pinprick constellations on a floor of desert night.
What was it I said, dancing out the story of tomorrow,
pattering on dust, how it could never end? 
How it would last, because it must?

~April 2015

Poem 22 for April

shared under a creative commons license 


  1. So here's a new favorite. Many beautiful specific lines, but it's the whole that really gets to one--especially an older one--the contrast between the starry-eyed certainty of the young that was is so intense must last and the rusted/dusty/transubstantiated speed and wings of the now, which here is so cunningly in the first stanza not the second--also so lovely that the desert the dust and darkness appears in the time of intensity and youth--and the damper blue comes in the time of rust and egg shell of age--also the sense of seasons is very strong in that first stanza which to some degree is what the whole poems describes. Plus (and finally this commenter will close), wonderful irony that the feeling of "must" comes in the intensity--that it must last because it is so intense we feel (in starry gaze) that it must--when truly the only must that exists is change and aging of the first stanza. The toy etc all good. k.

    1. Thanks, k, as ever for your thoughtful input. This had a third stanza, but you will be pleased to know I bravely cut it. Way too depressing, and sometimes, better to show than state, which your comment makes me at least feel to have done. Hope your day was not too crazy.

  2. Yes, what to keep, what to cut in whatever we still can say about love? Less is much more than we once hoped. Maybe life in the wide open spaces of Oklahoma bring a windier brush to the work--they're like waves, aren't they, coming from across the globe -- there is a Western ambiance to this, vibe of a song of a seasoned Native American. Hindsight sweeps in that too, tempering passion with the long shadows of event and consequence. The play of "dust" and "last" and "must" at the end is a perfect wind of the charm.

    1. Thanks B. The actual memory comes from Connecticut, where I spent a summer once, but there's no doubt the Oklahoma dust is in my blood by now. Truly appreciate you finding the time to read---I think this will be my last April of trying to pull a poem a day from my poor bedraggled Muse.She has been very cooperative, but its just exhausting for all concerned.

  3. The first stanza is a feast of imagery filled with enough longing to be touched and felt... The seasons moved in super fast-forward, showing the speaker and setting from fresh to lived. I heart the phrase It's too fast, in my mind. As if my soul wants things to slow down, so that I can see the "toy" before its metamorphosis...

  4. But...we all say that, or some version of that, when we're young, don't we? I love the comparison to a toy with its wheels off.

  5. Oh my, again, I am left smiling at the deep truth in this, the universal song, which lilts so perfectly here. I think this might be my favorite of yours this month.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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