Poems say it
January 29, 2013 8 Comments
I have not been blogging much
Trying to write some confused confusing thoughts
Read some of my favourite poetry instead
Find it is said quite well
Mornings at Blackwater
by Mary Oliver
For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.
And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.
What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.
(everyone buy Mary Oliver’s amazing book, Red Bird.)
and what was confusing about my thoughts – so much unwellness and distress in the world beyond my understanding
by Jackie Kay
My seventy-seven-year-old father
put his reading glasses on
to help my mother do the buttons
on the back of her dress.
‘What a pair the two of us are!’
my mother said, ‘Me with my sore wrist,
you with your bad eyes, your soft thumbs!’
And off they went, my two parents
to march against the war in Iraq,
him with his plastic hips. Her with her arthritis,
waved at each other like old friends, flapping,
where they’d met for so many marches over their years,
for peace on earth, for pity’s sake, for peace, for peace.
from Life Mask (Bloodaxe, 2005)
How I love Mary Oliver’s “darling citizen” ! That is all of us, all over this world, trying, trying to live the contradiction in our hearts:
stay safe and stay alive… (listen only to the Rules, the Religion, the Right Way, the way we learnt in our past)
stay true and learn to live… (open your heart to the present, not-knowing what will come next, )
You are capable of choosing darling citizen, of Syria, of Mali, of Pakistan, of Afghanistan, of USA, of UK of anywhere. Choose words, to talk to listen, to argue, to stand up for the weak, to care. To blog? [Remember - the risk of death is just sitting there waiting for you in both choices so it is not really relevant to the way you choose to live.]