I love poetry. I’ve loved It right from childhood (now who doesn’t remember the giggle fest of “Eletelephony”?) so it’s not a later in life acquired taste. It’s a bred in the bones, deeply resonating, visceral connection with the language of poetry. My father used to recite “The Lion and Albert” at parties so perhaps I inherited the poetry gene. I also love science fiction, having fallen under the spell of “The Foundation Trilogy” as a teenager (in which I encountered the word “jihad” for the very first time).
So perhaps it is natural that I will quote this from Ursula K Le Guin: “And in poetry, beauty is no ornament; it is the meaning. It is the truth.” Below are two poems about entering a new world – which for us is the summer of 2021.
Instructions on Not Giving Up
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out of the crabapple tree, / more than the neighbour’s almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate / sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees that really gets to me.
When all the shock of white and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, / leave the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath, / the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin growing over / whatever winter did to us, a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us, / the hurt, the empty.
Fine then, I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf / unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
(Ada Limón Fireflycreativewriting.com)
Autobiography of Eve
Wearing nothing but snakeskin / boots, I blazed a footpath, the first / radical road out of that old kingdom / toward a new unknown. / When I came to those great flaming gates / of burning gold, / I stood alone in terror at the threshold between Paradise and Earth. / There I heard a mysterious echo: / my own voice / singing to me from across the forbidden / side. I shook awake – / at once alive in a blaze of green fire. / Let it be known: I did not fall from grace. / I leapt / to freedom.
P.S. Just imagine it, Eve wearing snakeskin boots! You go girl!