Thursday, March 21, 2013

Two Old Love Poems

photo credit: Rick Kopstein
(with added help from the simians at Pic Monkey)

So, it's World Poetry Day, and my good friend Jim King got me thinking of the old poet in me.

The truth is, before I ever wrote books, my first love was poetry, though the last poem I wrote was probably in my mid-twenties.

After that, there was the law school phase and then the lawyer phase that I'm fond of saying, "sucked the creativity right out of me."

Then there were: marriage and kids, and the practice of law, and, ultimately, when I returned to writing, it was with the (daunting) hopes of writing a novel in mind.

There was The Jetty (agented, but never sold), Swim Back to Me (agented but not sold, with new life breathed into it -- maybe, maybe not, The Pull of Gravity (sold!) Frankie Sky now The Summer of Letting Go coming Spring 2014, etc.

But before all that, I wrote poetry.

It was my first love, and my friend Jim has sent me into a bit of a reverie. . . (bear in mind I was only 21... ;))

Verging 

I breathe
heavy air blankets the up-down rhythm
clocks and other night noises
float to me
here            aah, settle
to Autumn patterns
                   play and remind
                   (play and remind)
and, hey, you're too big for my heart
these days

                   The fan
and hot covers stifle
as somewhere water drips
slow            one, two
the radio and other sounds turned on to drown out
the constant, hollow fall of wet

but the man tells:
                    gunfire where you are
like he's reading from cue cards through static

Somewhere, between dark and mourning
I wake to call you
through dry cracked lips and no sound
only your name in my ears
                     swelling
and, hey, you're too big for my head.

-gae, 6/21/85


Temptations in Blue

(when you close your eyes, he said,
                           think only of blues)

so tightly I do
that I am at once surrounded and carried off
to where we can be.

there, I float as sea upon sea takes me
                             (though I tell no one, I recognize it is the blue of your eyes)
                              and I am safe to fall back where
somewhere, between childhood and pain
it begins to break
                            and scatter
into icy-cold marbles that tease and elude my uneasy hands
the fingers left groping at angels' wings
then
air.

I drift,
          where I resurface I am lightheaded and weightless
                             flooded by turquoise so brilliant it pulls me

I do not follow but hold
                             to the edge of a peacock's tail
its cobalt center
                             trembles and bursts
                             and silently folds
                             into green.

There
          where I cannot remain
but try to
anyhow.

- gae 8/13/85



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