No Art (Revised)

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I first wrote this a few years ago after reading Elizabeth Bishop’s work once again.  Well, after revisiting Mary Oliver and gaining familiarity with Pablo Neruda this summer, I once again returned to Bishop’s work and then had to re-watch Reaching for the Moon.  So I decided to dig this one out and tweak it and revise.  

In this thing called losing,
Bishop said we become masters
And that losing isn’t a disaster.

No, not a disaster.
Losing socks and such stuff.
I’ve lost earrings, bracelets,
Expensive ones too, didn’t care
Beyond maybe a minute or two,
And never was it a disaster.

And no pain beyond a stab of nostalgia
Did I have upon saying goodbye 
To three houses and two cities,
And never did I feel it a disaster.

And yes, it was no disaster
To bury my mother, 
A father who really wasn’t,
The man who really was,
First one brother, then the other,
Then lastly, a wife.
With each, my body and soul
Savaged by a catastrophic hurricane, yes.
But no, no disaster.

No disaster is it, I’ll admit, 
For a tiny bit of soul to erode
As I buried each.
But nothing, nothing did I ever master.

Except, maybe this—
I did not look for them-
Looking to forget them
Since they were gone,
Emptied of this earth.

No, I did not look to forget
While driving home
In darkness under a full moon
Lighted with regret
Of a new unfamiliar scent.
Yet the swirling of this sad scent
Is no, no real disaster.

No real disaster is it—
That I look to forget
A lost return now.
A return to life
Captured, fleeting, lost--
Filled with a scent 
Of hope or a fool’s thought—
Matters not but now lost.
And in this thing
Called losing, 
In which I am well-schooled,
As are we all, 
I have tried to make an art,
To make an art of all this loss.

Yes, this may be no real disaster,
But Bishop lied.
There is no art in losing,
No art at all,
That I can find to master.


In the Language of Gods

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In the language of gods,

we speak in whispers

of the luxury to touch

And know all there is

to know of heaven and earth

mingled here in our hearts

and in the earth

beneath us–

a braid

we create in ecstasy

of feeling knowing

all there is to know

of ourselves

and each other–

the sweetness

of rapture

dripping from

the soul

 

 

Petals of Words

Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels.com

 

 

I swore never to give my words away like blossoms in the spring.

Yet, I marvel at all the words I’d gather,

arrange for you in artful, elegant bouquets.

I’ve keloid locks where my words are stored.

I possess not the oils to soften those locks,

Trapping my words deep in their vault,

My words may never know freedom.

 

Yet, I find myself streaming petals of words for you

In hazy, lazy patterns,

Knowing you have the wisdom, the soul

To read my words much like braille—

A code of sorts–

So you can hear and know,

Though unspoken,

All my words bestow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon the Morning Air

Image courtesy of Melinda Fawver@Dreamtime.com

 

A scent upon the air this morning still

 

At least in these wild imaginings—

 

With the colors of sunrise muted

By the humid haze hanging in the air,

My eyes close to better see the glow

Of white skin by moonlight,

To better catch the scent

Of her in the slight breeze–

 

And then—I do not know—

 

It seems I feel the touch of angel feathers upon my face.