The Florilegia Project #1: Autumn Equinox
This poem, title and all, is collected from the last 6 weeks of sparkling phrases. (If you’re reading this thinking “what is a sparkling phrase?” detour over here to The Florilegia Project for a little background.) Every word is someone else’s; only the order, punctuation, and line breaks are my own. (Ok, one line is also my own.)
Kinship Demands Reciprocity
We didn’t know what we were seeing, and so
saw less. An archipelago of half-sunken dictionaries,
the shape of things gone missing.
The source, equally, of our grief and our delight.
It’s a vessel. It will hold us–the husks of fate,
and fiercer desires, the sinuous absence of water–
in thunder, or another of its tongues.
To exit the trajectory of productive time,
dark-souled and supremely efficient,
try to praise the mutilated world.
Patterns of attention are how we render reality:
the act of pure listening, without burden of understanding.
To be quiet, even wordless, in a good place is a better gift
than poetry, so that your soul goes soaring
and never quite settles all day.
The shimmer of gods is easier to perceive
at sunrise or dusk–unruly, indescribable detail.
Your eyesight will fail you; this is not a human hour.
Let’s step outside, and I can direct you with more gusto.
The moment it becomes a subversive activity–wait.
The work will come. It will take you
into yourself, and bless you, and keep you.
There is sorrow in the light at this hour,
outside, where the only news comes
as fresh air folding over the houses.
Weather is our one true leader, sliding smoothly along
observational ruts. (I said aloud “good light,” as if it were dog.)
Landscape that lacks vocabulary cannot be seen.
Whole families vanished into rain.
You have got to find out what your name is.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside world.
But I said no, in thunder,
to disappear into the hills and tarns
and miss my way home as long as possible.
Where are we fixed on the earth’s lissome curve?
Where you’d want to come from if
you knew who you really were.
Stripped down to God, baptism is wonderfully pagan.
Not preachy-holy but instinct-holy:
the unwritten places, the blue of deep deep time.
Endless ocean, always deeper than all of our needs.
It is all enough to make one cry, and being one, I do.
What did you think,
that joy was some slight thing?
It reassures me that no one knows the answer.
Are you waiting for time to show you some better thoughts?
Longing, we say, because desire is full of endless distances.
Fear of subjects about which little is written,
routine fits of absence of mind.
There is no remedy,
so go ahead
and stay crazy.
To witness the ten thousand worlds, to tell your story,
you sang a map. I live here, and it is the right place.
On some nights, your rest is as deep as blood.
Stars the scattered white teeth of the gods
which spare none of us.
Every one of these is enthusiastically recommended. Especially the first.
A friend, in conversation
A Better Animal (essay)
Talley V. Kayser
Ask Me (poems)
- For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid
- You Reading This, Be Ready
Baptized and Set Free (hymn)
Text and music by Cathy Skogen-Soldner
Earth Again (poems)
- Blown Snow
- My Recently Implanted Gov’t Eco-Guilt Chip
- Possible Psalm
Here, Poems for the Planet (…poems)
ed. Elizabeth J. Coleman
- First Verse
- Meditation at Lagunitas
- The Path to the Milky Way Leads Through Los Angeles
- Try to Praise the Mutilated World
Adam Zagajewski, translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh
How to Do Nothing (nonfiction)
How to Look for Owls: On Writing, Ritual, and Intuition (essay)
Tara K. Shepersky
In Search of Small Gods (poems)
- Age Sixty-Nine
On Discipline (essay)
Outside Lies Magic (nonfiction)
Pictograph: Avalanche Mouth (poem)
Shallow-Water Dictionary (nonfiction)
The Anthropology of Turquoise (nonfiction)
The Seabird’s Cry (nonfiction)
The Shape of Things Gone Missing (music album)
The Sound of the Genuine (address)
21st Century Yokel (nonfiction)