Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Armadillo by Elizabeth Bishop For Robert Lowell

The Armadillo    
                by Elizabeth Bishop

For Robert Lowell

This is the time of year

when almost every night

the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.

Climbing the mountain height,

rising toward a saint

still honored in these parts,

the paper chambers flush and fill with light

that comes and goes, like hearts.

Once up against the sky it's hard

to tell them from the stars—

planets, that is—the tinted ones:

Venus going down, or Mars,

or the pale green one.  With a wind,

they flare and falter, wobble and toss;

but if it's still they steer between

the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,

receding, dwindling, solemnly

and steadily forsaking us,

or, in the downdraft from a peak,

suddenly turning dangerous.

Last night another big one fell.

It splattered like an egg of fire

against the cliff behind the house.

The flame ran down.  We saw the pair

of owls who nest there flying up

and up, their whirling black-and-white

stained bright pink underneath, until

they shrieked up out of sight.

The ancient owls' nest must have burned.

Hastily, all alone,

a glistening armadillo left the scene,

rose-flecked, head down, tail down,

and then a baby rabbit jumped out,

short-eared, to our surprise.

So soft!—a handful of intangible ash

with fixed, ignited eyes.

Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!

O falling fire and piercing cry

and panic, and a weak mailed fist

clenched ignorant against the sky!

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

One Art       
        by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan't have lied.  It's evident

the art of losing's not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A poem in response to Dorothy Allison's essay: A Question of Class.

A poem in response to Dorothy Allison's essay: A Question of Class.
For Dorothy.

Courage, humor and love

simply disappear

in the politics of They

Despair must be lived

in a world that despises the weak.

They who hold dominion

overcome and deny.

The impulse to forget/remember

those who disappear into:

one pair of eyes

one set of hands

--heard by no one.

Our tears form the ground notes

in the howling cadence of
what  will not change

in the nightmare world of We.

Courage soul: learn to wield.

© Karen Joyce  06/2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Something else...too

Something else...too

You were in a dream last night.

It was a rich one with lots of color, images and textures.

It startled me but then I am not surprised.

I've expressed myself over that last two years through metaphor and poems, 

images and words.

But still do not feel understood or heard.

Like you said once, maybe it was the longing that was the gift.

Only my heart doesn't know the difference and for me it wasn't 'just longing'.

It was real enough.

I don't know why you want to come and disturb what's left.

The time capsule that you want to paw through, dissect or update with your

'list of things'

-Or take trophy for your new life....

For me there is only more breaking.

© Karen Joyce 5/2008

At th Boston MFA

At the Boston MFA French Film Festival.  Always feel at home here.  I used to hook school and hang out here on particularly bad days.  They ...

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