I’m feeling inspired by the poetic guidance in The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Presently reading the chapter “Writing and Knowing”… hence the name of this poem.
Writing and Knowing
I know the kitchen, the confines of its smell
sometimes escaping the borders
of acceptable behavior. the waft, the clouds
the cycle sourced from my hands.
this delicate surgery has transformed into
an excellent prognosis, bubbling
but cohesive, wet without being soup
love without being complicated.
sit with your shoulders up. elbows
off the table, on the table—it doesn’t matter.
service is inconsequential, shape is a secondary thought.
we are empty stomachs and full hearts released
our destiny is no longer in my hands, maybe it never was.
kindness in the book I hold
before me, resting in the calm of my lap
it is in these solitary moments
that I remember intimacy lost
turning pages and the soft touch of words.
forget me not beyond this window
speed rolls by in cars, the wind,
the rush of a child’s legs
escaping the confines of home.
here in rest, the quiet title
yelling in the mind more,
more, tell me more about why
you love this world and
our uncertain place in it.
do not fall into nothingness when there is too much to consider
the eyes heavy, weighed upon by the pain of thought
who said that this life requires my presence or my promises,
I said in time
when energy and age become aligned
in our gaze, that life would be complete,
our purpose would be clear
because direction would call from its destination—this path is for you
walk away from the voices of an incessant mind.
We sound like the crack in the floor
We inherit gestures if nothing else
Can be stolen.
There are fingerprints left on so many words I didn’t want
But exit my mouth anyway
There is evidence of your blood in my fingertips,
in my every breath.
And evidence more sadly in this little one’s uncertainty
her confusion as to whether this means life
Or a means to an end.
I try to erase hopelessness for the unit
Believe that we can become something
other than whom we know.
That in teaching
I created myself into someone else
and created children
into new leaders of the world and their own decisions.
You are my blood, woman
my roots, my confusion
on weary days when the world seems like too, too much
to be real your book will be yours
and my book will be mine
no matter what we’ve said or done
no matter what’s been written
the horizon will still smile and say goodnight to us both.
You are a beautiful skeletal inspiration
projecting truth, provoking emotional congregation
humans can’t help but respond
eyes can’t help but correspond.
Isn’t that how it has always been with love?
The sound of the wind gives up telling.
The brightness of the sun gives up blinding—
all is matter not mind, ripe fruit
without an avenue to reincarnation.
Fallen, this body into the ground.
Achingly present in this Earth.
Forage me now so I can be found.
Moving orients as well as disorients. It provides reacquaintance with what you’ve kept hidden in both a physical and metaphysical sense. The objects, these passions of the past, reminisce as settings, complex emotional frameworks.
I found today a reading response journal, a piece of my journey into understanding. Pages and pages of epiphany as I was coming into myself as a young college student and a naïve visionary. I look back on my words in mystery and sorrow. How much passion we lose as life plays games with our resilience.
I want to share a bit from this with thanks to my favorite professor of the past for bringing these insights to the forefront, for opening my world. You guided my journey, wishing, with regret, that I could have done more.
Course: Introduction to African Colonialism
Reading Response Entry 6/16/1999
In Response to Violence, Exploitation and Racism in Africa
Out of all the entries this gave me the greatest pause as it provides relevance for what is happening present day in the United States. More importantly, the professor responds by asking of my responsibility to share my understanding almost as a premonition of what our present day responsibility will be. As a nation, our people are being manipulated to hate and to fear the innocent among us solely for the economic gain of those who could care less about our lives and what the average citizen will suffer as a result of their propaganda machine.
In moving, in movement, we travel with the same understandings and the same responsibilities to speak with our hearts. Reaching out from the mindfulness of 1999 to the people of 2016: reflect, share and act. I, like many, have not said enough.
I lived in objects until they became voices
in the corners of every wall, and we woke
to understand that memories could contour
without letting go, indispensable partners in life,
mocks us in physical matter, until the humbleness unravels
at the sound of footsteps passing by.
I thought I was the only one to carry these babies
that space deserved no credit,
the warmth of a given setting was a consequence
of a secondary movement,
that feet grew through the floors in given years
the alignment of faces and windows,
smiles in how we counted growth, measuring sunshine,
your youthful beads of hair took hours to
be forgotten, this floor called to you to
crawl, this ceiling called to you to stand
my body was nothing when the door called
to you to run, to find a place behind my eyes
where you could whisper dreams, sleep
and wake to the kindness of morning light.
It lived inside, matter, where people grow into
bodies of flesh, thoughts and years to piece together
stories, that you knew me here and we talked of other places
never wanting to leave the one we knew.