Happy Poetry Friday to you all! Its late at night and the house is quiet....I have had a dreamy day out with some of the best company and have wakened my mind up in a redwood forest. Its a good night for a poem and even though this one came dragged out of me in a tangled fashion, I hope it will be worth sharing with others. I liked listening to my brain stumble through the meanings and the unsnarling of the steps of the story.
I forget how much writing poetry can feel just like meditation, like painting and like yoga when I sink in properly. Its best done in a dark house after everyone has gone to sleep, I think. You can finally get into the thick and flowing weight of the process if you have no voices left, no other presence and no one but you, even your physical self snoozing in the computer chair really while your brain and your soul work macrame with ideas and thoughts and personal truth. This is why I mean to read poetry and mean to write it.
This week, a poem about the story of this beautiful little apple and how it came to be mine and how in the world despite its stunning beauty, I managed to have it disappoint me.
An Apple Lesson
I wanted it to be most sweet, a tangy, juicy pleasure
Instead it punched me bitterly, a plug of sour, drying feathers.
It was the largest on the tree, its skin all pinkly blushing
The freckles on its spherical cheek all winking at me flushly.
The children playing squirrel games had buried all the others
A row of mole-hills neatly made, with marble apples under.
I noticed all their digging work, each stick that marked a pile.
I heard the secret offerings arranged for deer in sylvan style.
The meaning of each twig and heap, the messages spelled out
When every plan had been described, oblations all laid out
I told them if I was a doe, I'd be most grateful to them each
And have a secret thrill to find their message and the treats.
Attention is a cheerful gift, a momentary pleasure
A child who is listened to grows dignified and tender
Because I entered in their world, my fingers in the dirt
My head inclined and face awake, my spirit in the work
They paused and then behind a back emerged this largest pome
The rusted ruby biggest fruit, unburied and alone
They gave it to me as a gift, a gesture peer to peer.
Their largest apple never laid in sacred mounds for deer.
I thanked the little architects who'd shared their schemes with me
And made a circuit through the park, a gleeful apple posessee
I cupped it in my hand and tossed and felt its weighty cool
With glittering eyes I breathed and rubbed it to a ruddy yule.
The tartan flannel of my shirt my regal buffing cloth
My lucky apple, sparking bright, held vampishly aloft.
Alas, this prize of children and my adultish greedy yen
Had a jolting oral skirmish when I bit into the skin.
Not every beauty that we find is there to be consumed.
Some gifts are handheld sermons made of eloquent festoons.
Our Poetry Friday roundup being hosted this week by The Miss Rhumphius Effect. Please join in or read along any week that the urge strikes you, this friendly group of poets and poetry lovers has no limits or rules about participation and has been so welcoming to me. Please come along if you like!