Saturday, May 09, 2009

Private (and not-so-private) Poems

Private (and not-so-private) Poems


Through the honeyed air, bees lurch and stagger, drunk

on the nectar of poems.  Plethoras of wild poems litter

the forest floor like candy spilled from a piñata.

We could gather them by the armful and swallow

their luscious purples, rich yellows, delicately flavored

whites and beiges.  As if arranged by an unseen poet,

the poems' bright curving phrases delight the eye. 

And their smell, ah, the fragrance of these poems, sweet

and heady, almost as intoxicating as the poppies of Oz.

We could bask in that odor.  We could sleep in it,

day and night.  But remember, among these feral poems

grow dentate ones with terrible tearing teeth.  Those lacy ones

emit the odor of garlic and the poems that resemble tulips

reek of onion.  The monk poems with their mottled brown hoods

stink of skunk. And these poems, white under green umbrellas? 

Poisonous! Look, but don't devour. This poem is very private.

See how it too holds a hood around itself?  Open it carefully, word

by word, and peek inside.  The poet secretly striped it inside,

gaily, with purple and green, like the awning on a carrousel. 

If you listen carefully, you may hear music pouring from its throat,

the sound of an organ grinder, in the center, with his monkey.

They want no coins.  They ask for nothing

but sunshine, fertile soil and bee visits, though surely,

they must also love our visits. They must want to share

the arrangements, the beauty they work so hard at, or so gently. 

Some rare and endangered poems hide so deep in the forest

we must search and struggle to find them, with their unusual

and striking arrangements of velvety words.  But notice the rays

of this common poem.  Many say it is full of clichés

and needs to be weeded out, but see how it resembles the sun.

Glorious, I say, though it dusts my nose with yellow words

and makes me sneeze. Along this trail that wends

through the spring trees soft with tiny new leaves, poems

rise and whisper to us.  To us and anyone who cares to listen

or read their colors on this green and vernal page.

Dear explorer, dear wanderer, if I give you this poem,

would you pluck off its white word-petals one by one,

she loves me, she loves me not?  You'll find, half-hidden

in the golden center of the poem, double spirals

of pattern and meaning.



Mary Stebbins Taitt

090509-1044-3a, 090508-1537-2c, 090504-1b, 090503-1st

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