Whatever happened to Poetry Wednesday?

Alas.  I have let this one go.  Must be summer, with the kids either surrounding me nonstop or being outside once the June rains finally stopped.  Whatever it was, here’s a late entry, one of my own pieces:

 

mt. lakes, my 16th year

 

light rainfall last night –

the pine railings and planks of the deck

dry sweetly under the july sunrise,

the scent of earthy moss and heavy

humus from the surrounding woods.

the fragrances humble each other

into compromise.

through waking eyes i see

the still lake beyond evergreens and

wandering branches of birch trees.

my beach towel, hung inside yesterday,

still carries the memory of chlorine and

suntan oil.  ten minutes before i must

bike to work, rake the short strip of sand,

skim the nearby pool,

ready the life buoys and rings, preparation

for the summer folk

with their coolers of sandwiches, sodas

and martinis: their daily baggage.

my house is still asleep,

but elsewhere children’s laughter echoes

from the distant shore,

early fishermen, perhaps, too eager

to care about scaring the trout to the

water’s murky depths.

i savor this brief solitude

in this moment of dawn.

i listen for my siblings, my parents,

and let the wind caress my face.

summer vacation is almost over.

Poetry Wednesday

It must be the three weeks of rain that have me in this dark mood, or perhaps it’s just my personality.  What do you think?  Discuss.

Today I’m posting poems by Jane Kenyon.   Kenyon, a resident of New Hampshire, was a brilliant poet who at times was overshadowed by her more famous husband Donald Hall.  She died of cancer in the ’90s, leaving behind a small but powerful body of work.  (And I personally prefer her writing to her husband’s, though his work is quite amazing as well.)

What I love about Kenyon’s poems are her rich images of nature, and the way she intertwines a personal mysticism with her surroundings.  As a New Englander who spent her fair share of summers in New Hampshire, I adore the familiar world Kenyon moves in.    Both of these poems come from her collection, Let Evening Come (Graywolf Press, 1990).

 

 

In the Grove:  The Poet at Ten

 

She lay on her back in the timothy

and gazed past the doddering

auburn heads of sumac.

 

A cloud — huge, calm,

and dignified — covered the sun

but did not, could not, put it out.

 

The light surged back again.

 

Nothing could rouse her then

from that joy so violent

it was hard to distinguish from pain.

 

 

Let Evening Come

 

Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving

up the bales as the sun moves down.

 

Let the cricket take up chafing

as a woman takes up her needles

and her yarn.  Let evening come.

 

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned

in long grass.  Let the stars appear

and the moon disclose her silver horn.

 

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.

Let the wind die down.  Let the shed

go black inside.  Let evening come.

 

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop

in the oats, to the air in the lung

let evening come.

 

Let it come, as it will, and don’t

be afraid.  God does not leave us

comfortless, so let evening come.

After 3 weeks of rain….

What to do when fatigue drowns the day?

What to do when rain chokes inspiration?

What to do when the mundane becomes a hangman’s noose?

What to do when sleep is the pacifist?

What to do when television is the sublime soporific?

What’s left?

To rise, to begin,

again?

The plea, the hope.

That this time.  Yes.

This time.  Yes.