lonely spaces

beneath the surface

There are lonely spaces, voids in my comprehension
Secret nooks inside my mind, where truths are hidden
Knowing that the dreams stay dreams without an action
But lost as to what to do

What if for once I let go, to act so as to become
Fitting myself around and into this person I am making
Pushing past the parts that tremble
Lost in my lonely wanting, lonely expectations
At times it all smells blue, like clear skies of fear

Mustering courage, gathering my strong parts
It is the only way through the impasses created
The strongest steel comes from the hottest fire

It is always myself being dealt with
Having to go looking for myself regularly
Dragged from the places inside where I hide
Nails scratching trenches upon my mind
Afraid to be seen because there might be rejection

Unclench the jaw that smiles so tensely
And, if I look closely, outside of myself
Is that you I see, hiding in your own dark spaces
Take my hand – We might just walk out of this together

I submitted this poem to the Bainbridge Island Poetry Contest.  It was selected as one of the poems to be posted around town for April’s Poetry Month.

Several poems that caught my breath

I have been reading and writing poetry lately.  Here are a few poems that made me stop and just enjoy them.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean– the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver, The House Light Beacon Press Boston, 1990.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you have ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott, Collected Poems 1948-1984, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1986.

They say she is veiled

They say she is veiled
and a mystery.  That is
one way of looking.
Another
is that she is where
she always has been, exactly in place,
and it is we,
we who are mystified,
we who are veiled
and without faces.

Judy Grahn, from: love belongs to those that do the feeling, Los Angeles, Red Hen Press 2008

Visual Poetry

ABSTRACTVisual poetry is poetry or art in which the visual arrangement of text, images and symbols is important in conveying the intended effect of the work. It is sometimes referred to as concrete poetry, a term that predates visual poetry, and at one time was synonymous with it.

visual poetry
Visual poetry was heavily influenced by Fluxus, which is usually described as being Intermedia. Intermedia work tends to blur the distinctions between different media, and visual poetry blurs the distinction between art and text. Whereas concrete poetry is still recognizable as poetry, being composed of purely typographic elements, visual poetry is generally much less text-dependent. Visual poems incorporate text, but the text may have primarily a visual function. Visual poems often incorporate significant amounts of non-text imagery in addition to text.
There remains some debate regarding the distinction between concrete poetry and visual poetry. There are three dominant views regarding the issue. One view is that visual poetry is synonymous with concrete poetry. A second view is that visual poetry is a type (or sub-category) of concrete poetry. And the last view is that visual poetry has evolved into a visual form distinct from concrete poetry. This view is supported by work identified as visual poetry in which typographic elements are secondary to visual elements, are minimal, or in some cases are absent altogether from the work.

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