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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cloud I

Letter to My Imagined Daughter                   Kyle Vaughn


If I could fold this lonely year in half and then in half again, until finally it became next year, I would keep folding until I came to where you are. I would keep folding until this year made a little paper car. This white care would be soft, like a cloud in the air. And even more than a soft cloud, this would be a bright car, more like the sun in the middle of the day. And as it does through certain glass, its light would keep folding , folding in—making the world spin like a red barber’s chair, once around for every fast ray.

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You Begin                                                                              Margaret Atwood 1978

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
this is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only
the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.

It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.
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Inspiration is there all the time. For everyone whose mind is not clouded over with thoughts whether they realize it or not. ~Agnes Martin

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Ring               by Melissa Stein

Control was all
I wanted: a handle
on the day, the night
when it curved,
when it swayed,
when I could sense
the teeming stars
in light, in dark
the sun's bare wire.
Some switch
to turn it off:
each shadow
pinned to each tree
like a radius
of some infant's
milk it spilled.
And the leaves,
their gossip
of claw and beak
and wind and heat
and wing. Tether
lake to bank and
cloud to peak.
And weather it.
Weather it. All this
to say I've
taken off my ring. 

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Something goes through the world
Without speaking to anyone.
When it falls in water
It doesn't splash, when it enters a tree
It doesn't rustle.

The less you hear it the fiercer its presence is.
Time stops.  There's a mist in the north
And a branch, only one branch pointing to it.
No creature may now share its stillness.

Cloud, drifting in the direction of my birth,
If there's a Hell,
It must have only one inhabitant.
  
~Charles Simic

3 comments:

drew said...

Wow - that Atwood poem is something!

Thanks, again, for these themed posts. Good stuff.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Atwood is an effortless poet, isn't she?

utopianfragments said...

Thank you for the introduction!