Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Atavism

I always was afraid of Somes's Pond: 
Not the little pond, by which the willow stands, 
Where laughing boys catch alewives in their hands 
In brown, bright shallows; but the one beyond. 
There, when the frost makes all the birches burn 
Yellow as cow-lilies, and the pale sky shines 
Like a polished shell between black spruce and pines, 
Some strange thing tracks us, turning where we turn. 

You'll say I dream it, being the true daughter 
Of those who in old times endured this dread. 
Look! Where the lily-stems are showing red 
A silent paddle moves below the water, 
A sliding shape has stirred them like a breath; 
Tall plumes surmount a painted mask of death.

--Elinor Wylie

Pregnant Pause

In the presence of certain people
with whom I’m more or less
expected to some degree converse,
the silence contains too much room. 
Space for a life’s supply of stock 
tickers—one for every potential investment. 
Still I typically default.

In the presence of my self only,
interval is everything. It’s all there is. 
The room, of course, is staggering.
But it’s often like August: you can 
hang your hat, take a nap.

--me

Sunday, August 4, 2013

First Weeks

To my son

They tell me it’s about getting past this part. 
That once you’re 3—4—6 months old
it’ll just be so fun. You’ll interact.

And yet, while there are things
I wouldn’t choose to stand
amid (colic, whole feeds rivering up),
why would I want to rush your arrival to the place 
where sheet cakes and drone wars begin? 

Yesterday you lifted your head
off my shoulder and held it there briefly
(toward one of their “milestones”)
and I smiled, though a real sadness ran through. 

Later, alone on your back in a dim room, 
you stared unblinking at “your poster”—
depiction of deep space that transfixes you daily—
as I watched from the other side
of the cracked door. 

They tell me it’s about getting past this part.
I tell you to take your time.
Whatever, however it is for you, 
I hope it holds. I hope you hold it
as long as you possibly can,
before the world, this world, crashes in.

--me