Thursday, December 7, 2023

Everything flowers

Nobody would write poetry if the world seemed perfect.
~Galway Kinnell

Happy Poetry Friday! Today's poems are ones I found when I looked up "poems about hope." "It Was the Animals" made me feel like I'd just watched an awardwinning movie. What mastery these poets have!

Saint Francis and the Sow
by Galway Kinnell

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis...

read the rest here


It Was the Animals
by Natalie Diaz

Today my brother brought over a piece of the ark
wrapped in a white plastic grocery bag.

He set the bag on my dining table, unknotted it,
peeled it away, revealing a foot-long fracture of wood.
He took a step back and gestured toward it
with his arms and open palms — 

                It’s the ark, he said.
                You mean Noah’s ark? I asked.
                What other ark is there? he answered.

                Read the inscription, he told me,
                it tells what’s going to happen at the end.
                What end? I wanted to know.
                He laughed, What do you mean, “what end”?
                The end end.

Then he lifted it out. The plastic bag rattled.
His fingers were silkened by pipe blisters.
He held the jagged piece of wood so gently.
I had forgotten my brother could be gentle...

read the rest here


A Center
by Ha Jin

You must hold your quiet center,
where you do what only you can do.
If others call you a maniac or a fool,
just let them wag their tongues.
If some praise your perseverance,
don't feel too happy about it—

read the rest here


Reverie has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Patricia!


Rose Cappelli said...

Thank you for these beautiful poems today, Tabatha. I see what you mean about It Was the Animals - so intriguing.

Linda Mitchell said...

Woah...I need to just sit with these a while. These are not poems to breeze through and push on with the day. These are poems that settle in and move furniture around in a brain. St. Francis reminding the flower, the sow of loveliness, the parading animals...and finding the center. These are poems that can expand past just one Poetry Friday. Thank you for the gift of them to us today.

Linda B said...

Oh, Tabatha, you find poems for us that make us thought-filled. There is such a need for the whole world to be saved. Poets seems to know that better than others. Thank you for these.

Tracey Kiff-Judson said...

The long perfect loveliness of sow. : ) Holding our quiet center seems sage advice for these times. I am not sure that I fully grasped the second poem. I fear that I may have been taking it too literally. Then after thinking on it for a bit, I came to believe that perhaps it is about appreciating another person and their point of view…

Tabatha said...

Thanks, all! Tracey, my interpretation of the second poem is that it is about a woman talking with her brother, who is a drug addict. She is listening to his delusional thoughts and imagines them taking place, after a fashion.

Patricia Franz said...

Tabatha, the poems you share always leave me with an ooomph. "to reteach a thing its loveliness" -- if that isn't the words of hope, I don't know what is. Thank you.

Mary Lee said...

What a trio of poems! The first is a good reminder to see the loveliness, to try to FIND loveliness in everything. Even a sow.

laurasalas said...

Tabatha, thank you for the lovely memories your post brought back of a Galway Kinnell reading Randy and I went to.

Michelle Kogan said...

Sensitivity calls out to me in the first two poems, thanks for all here Tabatha, and for Kinnell's poetry in our imperfect small world, xox.

Janice Scully said...

Love the first two lines of the Ha Jin poem "hold your quiet center,/where you do what only you can do." These are all poems to revisit, Tabatha. Thanks.

Ruth said...

Those were all wonderful in their own way, but what will stick with me is the "long, perfect loveliness of sow."