There is something so soothing to my soul about reading and writing poetry. In the past 12 months I have bought several anthologies of poetry and poetry books which I keep in my calm tranquil spot near the open doors at home. In the afternoon I read them and it brings me so much peace. One of the anthologies is called : The Emergency Poet : An Anti Stress Poetry Anthology and in its resources index the compiler, Deborah Alma refers to several other anthologies specificially targetted towards those suffering grief or depression. Something about reading the words of others who struggled can make us feel less alone or will resonate with our experience, they may even bring us to tears so help us with our grieving. Same goes for a cathartic poem that just comes to us unbidden from the depths, like an ocean wave we catch and ride to breaking point only to beach on the ocean shore of our writing surfaces, it may release us and bring us to depths of understanding and resolution we did not have before.
With this in mind I would just like to share a few poems that touched me today. I hope they resonate with readers. I don’t have poem knocking at the door of my consciousness today but as the gentle afternoon sun pours onto Jasper, my dog and I, I just wanted to share these :
I know you have seen things you wish you hadn’t. You have done things you wish you could take back. And you wonder why you were thrown into the thick of it all – why you had to suffer as you did. And you are sitting there alone and hurting, I wish I could put a pen in your hand and gently remind you how the world has given you poetry and now you must give it back.
Lang Leav. p. 9 Memories
The mother blackbird I’ve been feeding
has flown in the open door of the kitchen,
where she flutters against the stuck window,
like a butterfly, finding no way through.
A startled eye stares. In the flap of a wing,
it all comes back : my heart beating
so fast I thought it would explode,
my mind and body in overload,
running the corridors, fleeing nurses,
who seemed stanger than another species
then trapped in a room with nowhere to go,
how I was cornered at a safety window,
which opened only far enough for air,
how I didn’t know there was no cause for fear,
how they outnumbered me, fastened their grip,
laid me down and injected me, like rape.
I cup the bird gently in my hand, like water,
carry her out, as if a Section order
has been lifted, give her to the air,
then watch her spread her wings and soar.
After the Storm
There are storms that change the skyline, that leave patches of blue where branches had once spread their brittle fingers. And in the aftermath, an eerie calm settles over the forest, as shell shocked birds sing warily in the sunlight. The nervous flutter of their injured wings, barely audible above the hammering of a hummingbird’s heart.
You once told me the wind is silent. How his sound can only be heard through collision. Last night, he cried with a violent yearning while he tore through the trees. As he brought down their twisted branches, I thought of the first time you said my name.
You were the storm that changed the skyline. After the damage and the deluge, I could see things so much clearer. There hasn’t been another like you since.
In 1953, we began naming hurricanes so we could remember them beyond the wreckage. So we could try to make sense of the destruction. This is the way I remember you.
Lang Leav, p. 17 Memories