Monday, April 20, 2009

Why do we write poetry?

I've always lived life by one simple credo: happy people don't write poetry. I believe that I may have to modify that a little. Wordsworth (I think) wrote that poetry was engendered by "The spontaneous overflow of powerful emotion, recollected in tranquility." That strikes me as true. I've written maybe two dozen poems, and all are connected to events powerful in emotion, usually negative. After all, the theme of all country music is "He/she done me wrong."
What I'm wondering about right now is that I am suddenly willing to share my poetry with other people. My own impression is that my poetry is refrigerator door stuff, like 5th grade drawings, but somehow, for some obscure reason, I'd like others to read it.
You've been warned.

Night Cards

Black as a the loss of hope
The cloth lay on the table
Between us.

She laid a card on the table.
A slim finger tapped
The card, once, twice.
“This is you.”

The King of Swords.
A man on a throne
Posed as for a tintype,
His eyes on the far horizon,
A sword in one hand, scales
In the other.

Another card on the table.
The same slim finger
Tapped, tapped.
“This is me.”

The Queen of Swords
A woman on a throne
Stiff and disapproving
Sword at the ready.

She moved the cards
Together, side by side,
Almost, but not quite,

In my mind
The hands, the cards,
The cloth black as despair,
Began to whirl like water
Spiraling down a drain.

I felt my heart bunch and
Explode into a bright
Red mist like sunlight
Through parchment.

Blood is life, red and hot.
It surged through the artery
Of my left arm, out the
Aristotelian ring finger,
Evaporating as it met the
Air into an evanescent
And invisible plasma.

Like fog in the streets,
It crept over the dark cloth,
Caressed the two slim hands,
Turned the two cards
Face to face, queen on top,
And wrapped them
In the dark blanket.

Thus I refute the fates.


bekkieann said...

Beautiful and haunting.

Maybe we all judge our own work to be less than it is, but this is far beyond what you think of it.

Poetry can provide a fairly intimate look into the author. Perhaps you've not wanted to share that much intimacy until now. I'm glad you've decided to do so. This lovely writing should be shared.

Will this be on our Wednesday poetry blogfest?

On both your houses said...

All poetry is about the poet. Maybe I've not wanted to tell much about myself, but, well, why not?

bekkieann said...

That is the crux of it, then, isn't it? We each have to answer that question for ourselves.

Jacqueline said...


I found you through Bekkieann's blog.

I agree with Bekkie...this is beautiful, haunting and very well done.

Thank you for sharing it.

Holladay said...

All are beautifully done, and decidedly sensual. The theme of hands is a lovely thread. Nolo Me Tangere seems especially evocative.