Bustle and caw. Recall the green heat
rising from the new minted earth, granite
and basalt, proto-continents shuffling
and stacking the deck, first shadows flung
from the ultraviolet haze. A fern
uncurls from the swamp, the microscopic furnace
of replication warms the world, one
becoming two, two four: exponential blossom.
Lush with collision, the teacup balance
of x and y, cells like balloons
escaping into the sky - then the dumbstruck
hour, unmoored by a river,
a first fish creeps to the land to marvel
at the monstrous buds of its toes. And stars
grow feet and walk across the years into these dozing,
ordinary days, climbing the spine's winding
stair, where crickets yawn and history spins.
I forgot to add: hello! Nice to meet you all. I shared this poem because I love it for the vibrance of the language and the ideas of connection across millennia, from stars to fish to birdwatching.
I love this poem by Leonard Bernstein, that speaks to the fact that life and vitality can be a messy, squishy, juicy business!
Life Is Juicy
Life begins in the waters--
Not the deep, but the borders of land:
The stagnants that nourish the sterile earth
Like a juicy gland.
Life is the seed of the marriage
Of liquid and solid events.
In the coves, in the swamps, in mysterious pools,
Our heartaches commence.
Life is the pulp and the slime,
The marshmallow bellies of frogs,
Their thyroided eyes, their eggjellies caught
On the rotting logs.
Life is the algae, the roe;
The army of maggoty breeds
Devouring the corpse of a very old perch
Adrift in the weeds.
Life is the plasm, the cells,
The fat symbiotics in pairs;
The ankledeep fungoids which darkly provide
The crawfish with lairs.
Life is the scaly and scummy,
The poisonous green without breath;
The marinal maze whose only solution
Is ultimate death.
For Death is the crisp and the clean,
The fine oxidation, the rust,
The spermless, the painless, the classic, the lean,
The dry, dry dust.
Anne-Marie and Kim, I love the poems you shared. This is an excerpt of a poem by my dear friend Hally Sablosky that says "vitality" to me:
Let me out
To the bright sunshine
Out of the place
Where only troubles come to mind.
An escape that is present
Where such places don’t exist,
Where my mind is at home
And my planet no longer drones.
Over the rainbow
And over it all
where winter never follows fall.
And the water flows
through the banks
of the crystal web
that Nature has formed
alongside my head.
And let it ring
and let it be true
how much myself
means to me and not you,
that I am firm
and sure and strong,
And even when I’m not,
I express it with song.
All together with
those that matter,
Be it my mind
or those at my side
that we may still
be still when
the waterfall arrives
and carries us along
where the water drives.
I love reading these poems! This is mine, it's short and sweet but really speaks to me!
Perhaps we only leave
So we may once again arrive,
To get a bird’s eye view
Of what it means to be alive.
For there is beauty in returning,
Oh how wonderful, how strange,
To see that everything is different
But know it’s only you who’s changed.
Katija—who is that poem by? I love the idea of coming and returning and realizing that it is the self that has changed.
A Litany for Survival
BY AUDRE LORDE
For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours;
For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.
And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive.
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