aimless love

But my heart is always propped up in a field on its tripod, ready for the next arrow. billy collins

Monday, January 15, 2007

two poems

The first is a poem I wrote on the last day of our trip after a visit to Avila -

The storks of Avila

In real life
they are regal
austere overseers
tall and elegant
the white of their bodies
in stark contrast
to the black tips
of their wings
and the deep coral
of their beaks

not at all
like the fairy-tale deliverers
we're used to

so much is not how we imagine

Along the walled city
we stand, ten women
modern and yearning
watching old men
in berets and blue jackets
walking arm in arm
with the sun on their faces
through the gates
to the plaza
for a mid-morning coffee

And our coffee
brings talk of mystics and martyrs
of a woman who also yearned
of conquest, expulsion, submission, domination
of complicity and resistance

Later, at the train station
we watch
as one, then two, take flight
stunned by the effort
it appears to take
and by the incongruity
of our lives with this place

What birth within us
have they heralded?
What purge?
With whom shall we walk
arm in arm?

The second poem is for my son, written after his baptism yesterday:

Baptism

It wasn't until after
we had sat back down
literally, became one of the crowd
that he wiped the last drop off his chin

I love
that he was
willing
to let it stay
that long
on his face

Several days before
I had been told that a good Muslim
washes his mouth, his nose, inside his ears,
even wets the top of his head
before entering the mosque
to pray

The first thought we all have
is that we need to cleanse ourselves
that these acts provide us a purifying ritual
and surely they do

But the young man
with the bright, warm eyes
and the gentle, soft voice
and the open, welcoming hands
told us the ritual was to
wake up our senses
to alert all of our body
to prepare to hear
the voice of God

wake up
my son
you are becoming a man
you belong
you are loved
in you we are well pleased

2 Comments:

At March 27, 2007 at 9:33 AM, Blogger Eve said...

Great poems. I especially like the second one. Wow.

 
At October 11, 2008 at 4:58 AM, Blogger Pete Stanley said...

Kiora, I didn't read the second one. I felt I had to stay there, sit in the place the poem had taken me, sign of a good poem I reckon.

 

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