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.  Profusions of wild poems litter

the forest floor like candy spilled from a hundred piñatas.

We could gather them by the armful and swallow

their luscious purples, rich yellows, delicately flavored

whites and beiges.  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 poems

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 wraps a cape around itself?  Open it carefully,

word by word, and peek inside.  The poet secretly striped the interior

with purple and green, gay as the awning on a carrousel. 

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

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

They want no coins.  They ask for nothing

but sunshine, fertile soil and bees, though surely,

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

the compositions, the beauty worked at so hard, or so gently. 

Some rare and endangered poems hide so deeply in the dense forest

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

and striking sequences 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 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 its long white five-fold petals one by one,

loves me, loves me not?  Half-hidden in the golden center

of the poem, woven in double spirals of pattern and meaning

you'll find the answer:  always poetry, always yes,

always love.



Mary Stebbins Taitt

This line ^ and anything below the line is not part of the poem

090509-1737-3g, 090508-1537-2c, 090504-1b, 090503-1st

Note on draft notation:  ★090509 etc is the date: year, month, day

★1537 etc is the time, 24 hour style, so at 3:37 PM I completed that draft
★3g etc is the draft number, the # being the nth day and the letter being the nth draft on that particular day, so 3g would be the 7th draft on the 3rd day of working on the poem
In this case, at 3g, there have been a total of 12 drafts over 3 days time.

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