A Marriage by Michael Blumenthal
You are holding up a ceiling
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, terribly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceiling
will soon collapse.
something wonderful happens:
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arm up
to the ceiling beside you.
So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flowing back
to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner’s arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.
And it can go on like this
for many years
without the house falling.
I used one of this guys poems earlier, and Jocelyn used it recently too.
I love that this guy, in part, converted the English Teacher Who Hated Poetry.
Anyway, I quite like that one up there, and here is another.
What I Believe
I believe there is no justice,
but that cottongrass and bunchberry
grow on the mountain.
I believe that a scorpion's sting
will kill a man,
but that his wife will remarry.
I believe that, the older we get,
the weaker the body,
but the stronger the soul.
I believe that if you roll over at night
in an empty bed,
the air consoles you.
I believe that no one is spared
and no one gets all of it.
I believe we all drown eventually
in a sea of our making,
but that the land belongs to someone else.
I believe in destiny.
And I believe in free will.
I believe that, when all
the clocks break,
time goes on without them.
And I believe that whatever
pulls us under,
will do so gently.
so as not to disturb anyone,
so as not to interfere
with what we believe in.
Light, At Thirty-Two
It is the first thing God speaks of
when we meet Him, in the good book
of Genesis. And now, I think
I see it all in terms of light:
How, the other day at dusk
on Ossabaw Island, the marsh grass
was the color of the most beautiful hair
I had ever seen, or how—years ago
in the early-dawn light of Montrose Park—
I saw the most ravishing woman
in the world, only to find, hours later
over drinks in a dark bar, that it
wasn't she who was ravishing,
but the light: how it filtered
through the leaves of the magnolia
onto her cheeks, how it turned
her cotton dress to silk, her walk
to a tour-jeté.
And I understood, finally,
what my friend John meant,
twenty years ago, when he said: Love
is keeping the lights on. And I understood
why Matisse and Bonnard and Gauguin
and Cézanne all followed the light:
Because they knew all lovers are equal
in the dark, that light defines beauty
the way longing defines desire, that
everything depends on how light falls
on a seashell, a mouth ... a broken bottle.
And now, I'd like to learn
to follow light wherever it leads me,
never again to say to a woman, YOU
are beautiful, but rather to whisper:
Darling, the way light fell on your hair
this morning when we woke—God,
it was beautiful. Because, if the light is right,
then the day and the body and the faint pleasures
waiting at the window ... they too are right.
All things lovely there. As that first poet wrote,
in his first book of poems: Let there be light.
Poetry, including song lyrics, is the art of communication at its finest, imnsho.
I am glad we have a National Poetry Month. I really kinda believe that people who say they don't like poetry just haven't found the right poem. It's like saying you don't like art, or music. How can anyone possibly not like ALL music, or ALL art?! Somewhere there is a poem for everyone. It's just a matter of finding the one piece that resonates with that soul. I hope National Poetry Month helps people find a poem or poet that works for them.