One of my new years resolutions is to be less cynical. So, I have decided that from time to time I will drop a poem into my blog. Sometimes it will be one of mine; sometimes a good one. Is this the time to go into litcrit and discuss what makes a good poem? I don't think so, except to say that a really good poem makes you feel just a little short of breath.
So, let me start with one of mine. As a teacher and pedant, I can't give the poem just any title; it has to be mysterious, pretentious, and packed with secret meaning. So, here's my poem:
Nolo Me Tangere*
We stand, close but not touching, touching not,
She with her back to me, watching
The darkness climb the mountain.
Arms crossed, curve of back, hips just so,
Head slightly to one side.
Soft as twilight
Calm as the river
Lovely as the sunset
Distant as the mountains
What if I should put my hand, palm out, near her back,
Just where the spine flows into hips?
Would lightning fly from my fingertips?
Would small arcs of fire dance about her back
Driving away the shadow that steals up the mountain?
Would she turn, give a slow smile,
Blank and compassionate, then
Turn back to the mountain?
Oh Lord, why so many nerve endings in our hands,
If not to touch?
Why the slow clip and mend of evolution
If not to bond person to person
With a stroke to a cheek,
Or a hand in a hand?
Or to touch a shoulder,
Look, point, there is a hawk.
I drop my hands to my sides.
*Touch me not