Thursday, November 10, 2022

Healing serum

A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe.
~Dylan Thomas

Happy Poetry Friday, y'all! I didn't have a photo that went with these poems, so I just picked something off my camera. (I do that a lot, to be honest. It was between the above picture and one of a crow.)

I couldn't find the text for the below poems online so I typed them in. Such a good way to really get close to a poem. Less of a committment than trying to memorize it, but some bits will stay with you anyway. :)

Go Back to Your Own Country
by Jane Zwart

Let me tell you about countries: nobody has their own
and where we come from moves. Our mothers' wombs
aren't where we left them. Continents calve. Jerusalem holds
a tray full of glasses that a scrum of men take
and put back, take and put back, unworried for the weight
she must shift. Let me tell you: some of our countries
aren't where we left them. Someone pulls a string and six
tumble from Yugoslavia's pocket. Someone halves
Sudan like a branch over their knee. Someone crumbles
a bailey between Berlins and Germany is one place
again. Only Adam had his own country, and he could not
go back. A country is land that's learned to disown.


Take Care
by Peter Pereira

Take care, we say to one another,
on parting, as if the cargo
we carried were fragile
or dangerous-- chipped
bottle of nitro, crystal
blue robin's egg, last ampule
of the healing serum.


The Heart Does Not Really Have Chambers by Jane Zwart
Stay Tender Somehow by Jane Zwart
Fugue by Peter Pereira
Her Name is Rose by Peter Pereira (He's a doctor, btw. It's useful to know that re: the poem.)

Buffy Silverman has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Buffy!


Linda Mitchell said...

I love that first image off your camera--did you make that? It looks like some awesome paper crafting. And, my goodness...the 'Go Back to Your Own Country' That is an awesome message with incredible images. Thank you for that one especially. I will pop that one right into my journal.

Tabatha said...

Wow, Linda, I hadn't even imagined it as a paper craft -- that would be very cool! My photo is of something I made with real dried plants (and a moth I found).

Buffy Silverman said...

I love the collage too--and your comment about typing a poem to get close to it. I've done that with picture book texts that I love. Somehow the physical action of writing or typing makes you see it in a new light. The past years have challenged what I thought I knew about our country, and "Go Back to Your Own Country" does so too, in a haunting way.

jama said...

Yes, love the collage (that's some moth)! Thanks for the poems. "Go Back to Your Own Country" is especially timely. Zwart is new to me, and it's always nice to see more Pereira poems.

Carol Coven Grannick said...

Wonderful collage! And I love the two poems—thanks for sharing.

author amok said...

"Our mothers' wombs aren't where we left them." I'm going to be thinking about that line for a long time.

Mary Lee said...

You pick the best poems. I guess you are a natural anthologist! The two that resonate most with me are "Go Back to Your Own Country," a version of "you can never go back home again," and "Her Name is Rose," which pairs nicely (bad choice of words...I should say GRIMLY) with Barbara Kingsolver's newest book, DEMON COPPERHEAD, which is about addiction in Appalachia. I highly recommend it, though it is not a fun read at all. At. All.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Oh seem to have leaving on the mind, and both of these are fragile takes on parting. I LOVE what Jane does with the objects of the countries. <3

Heidi Mordhorst said...

And I forgot to say--YES. If I can grab a copy of a poem from the internet I do, in my speedy way, but if not, it's always a fruitful exercise to write it or type it out. I'm always thinking I should have a notebook just for that, and I never do it...

Michelle Kogan said...

Such a poignant and timely poem "Go Back to Your Own Country" and what a mess our country is. I also liked Zwart's poem "Stay Tender" and hearing her read it too. Beautiful, texture-filled Collage Tabatha, and I love the bits of bold color in there, thanks for all!

Bridget Magee said...

As a bit of a nomad who has moved around a lot (and by extension, my daughters have too - for better or worse) Zwart's poem is poignant. Being from somewhere else and being questioned about it constantly (in my case, my 'somewhere else' is luckily still intact) has an undercurrent of you don't belong here because you are not from here. Why does it matter? Thanks for the thought provoking poems and a glimpse at your camera roll. :)