Yeats and I. And you

Yes, I am, familiar with that poem
Too acquainted, actually – with its sadness:
it was in the time – when we were… Over
I, then, not much older than you now.
You, then, with sixteen magical years of youth.  Ahead

It was a bookstore in Braintree
Christmastime upon us
some celebrating another joyful birth of baby Jesus
others surrounded by, surrendering to, the fading of the light

Streets and parking lots slick and shiny
sporadic snowflakes that could barely last a moment
would not last the night
It was my first time to pick up Yeats.  A blessing.  A curse.

What calls us to one page or another?
What punishment was I deserving of – that the page fell
to “When You Are Old”?
There between narrow rows of books
What had drawn me to that holiday crowded space
of isolation and aloneness?

Tears fell to that page quenching no fires
falling to my knees 
in the aisle
love and loss, the beauty of his words working me over.
Assaulted and left behind in that literary alley

I read, felt our futures unfolding,
separately.
Me, gone to the stars
you, in later years, sitting alone by the grates and bars of the fire
In no need of me, no memory of me.

What solace is found in knowing I loved you
That I saw in you all that others did not, could not
What warmth will that bring me out here
among these others, 
we cold heavenly lights on a winter’s night.

JL Grady
View all from this artist >

Garuda

Jayashree Krishnan
View all from this artist>

Stanzas of grief (I)

Budding leaves, green,
Branches rustling, in the wind, 
Your tree. Standing tall.

Summer is here, sun
shining, leaves, flowers, insects
buzzing. Without you.

Helena Roth
View all from this artist >

Todai-ji temple in Nara, Japan

Anya Toomre
View all from this artist >

Anaesthesia

How we do what we do is what we are becoming
~ H. Maturana

When reading this quote the interdependent parts of my body went in a trip to a rainy afternoon cooking chickpeas, I am not too sure why, my body, she must know… from there the trip took a weird turn to Rumi’s poem, Chickpea to Cook. Poetry has that weird way of transporting our bodies, maybe it’s the aesthetics. Could poetry be that place where words live in a relationship with…
Read more >

Imma J. López

What makes changes more difficult?

Marijke van Veldhoven
View all from this artist >

Beneath moon’s bright gaze
Whispers of wild night’s allure
Dog dreams chase the light

A 21st-c. Readymade

AI. Have any two letters caused such hand wringing and gnashing of teeth?

These two letters have caused many to warn about some sort of an impending catastrophe: the loss of countless jobs to computers; humanity’s economic subjugation to the soulless cloud; some kind of Skynet; or worse, the eradication of the human race.

However, there are some…
Read more >

Scott Gilbertson

Faith Is No Longer Necessary

If you will listen you may hear what words cannot say.
There is a road that runs the river.
The petals have rained down pink.
Everything is green.
I left the house.

I drove away.
I drove towards another story.
Somewhere a heron is flying above water.
Wings outstretched.
How strong we are.

We still do not understand.
It never was impossible.
We can touch that which has no form.
We do not need permission but something…
Read more >

Amanda Judd

Gleaning Meaning

I am a metaphysical translator
reworking unbearable messages into
a language I can receive and understand.
Transforming sacred truths Into my own native tongue.
Lipskipping and wordsmithing to save my life.
Filling in gaps putting on flesh clothing scaffolds
structurally sound and not harmful
to my tender vulnerable places.

Ajike Kendrick Asegun
View all from this artist >

Dental work

i went to the dentist yesterday
he asked me what’s new
i guess what’s new this year because i don’t remember the last time i saw him
well, i’m really interested in beavers i said, after a short pause
he took a seat on his stool, no metal tooth equipment in hand
sitting to my left, looking at me
interested
well, the way water moves through land, I explained
the history of this land and what brought the Europeans
for the hats
and then all the beaver were hats
(and today i wonder what happened to all of those hats)
and the rivers were straightened
so the water could move fast
(i know i’ve said all this before)
could move more things to more people
(i didn’t say that last part to the dentist)
but things are changing now
in England they are reintroducing beavers
right outside of London
because the way they build
it reduces flooding.
I’m also thinking about (i paused, looking for a word)
I don’t like how environmental organizations talk to people
leading with fear and making all the choices with statistics
and I’m thinking, now don’t misunderstand me,
I’m thinking about
(i’m trying to think of some way to link beavers to the feminine without being crass)
I’m thinking, well, feminine energy is linked to flow
and the land was dried up
and
when we…
(then i started talking about bison and soil invertebrates and insects and birds)
he sat there on the stool
a young dentist, a father
a person i have spoken with maybe 6 times in 4 years
of course we all have both masculine and feminine energies, I said

And after I paused he said
So you’re talking about a different kind of flow
like dams that don’t just hold everything but allow something to move through
allowing things to be less predictable, more functionally disordered
you’re talking about bringing the two energies in balance
because we need them to work together
(yes, a marriage, i thought, that’s right)

So have you always been interested in beavers, he asked
moving to my right side, towards the teeth side of me
well, I guess it started with rodents, about a year and a half ago
I’m interested in rodents
and I didn’t know a beaver was a rodent
well, yes, he said, rodents are classed into that group
because their teeth grow throughout their lives
Capybaras are also rodents, he added
nonchalantly, not knowing that this visit
was now the next ripple
the next clue

I didn’t expect to have my faith in life
polished (to choose a dental metaphor)
but that’s what life will do
if you allow it to move through you
Because I don’t have the words, because I don’t know yet
here’s the capybara that’s been looking at me for the past month
the one Sam brought home from art class and is sitting at my desk

Jennifer Hole
View all from this artist >

Space Is Not Empty | Memory | Awakening