Saturday, January 10, 2015

Poetry Saturday: The Sky Speaks the Truth

Here we are a week into the new year.  Happily I have been successful at my goal of writing a poem on each Tuesday and Thursday.  Thursday I thought I would write a poem based on an idea I had when I almost let my grandmother's mixing bowl slip through my wet hands as I washed it.  I had a vision of God's mudslicked hands letting the goblet of the sky slip. 

But I had written the line down on a scrap of paper that I left at the office.  I couldn't quite recapture it, and it frustrated me to know that a better line was at school.  So, I shifted focus.

I reread T. S. Eliot's "Gerontion."  I took lines and images and spun my own poem.  It's not quite done, so I won't post it here. 

The week before, on a poet's Facebook post, I had read this quote from Eliot "Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season."  I thought, why don't I know this poem?  And now I can't get these images out of my brain.

I see some of those images in the Epiphany poem that I wrote on Tuesday.  I had a painter colleague/friend drop by my office the other day.  He asked how my poetry was going.  I showed him the poem I wrote during Tuesday's afternoon meeting.  He read it and looked up.  He said, "You just created this out of nothing?"

Well, not nothing.  The first line is from my writer friend/colleague at who sat in front of me at the meeting.  I had been thinking about T.S. Eliot, both "Gerontion" and "Journey of the Magi."  I had Epiphany images in my head, and I wrote them down.  Then, off I went.  I wrote a bit about the writing process in this post, but I didn't post the poem, as the blog post was getting long.

As I look at the poem again, I'm struck by the echoes of Isaiah, the imagery from Ash Wednesday.  I'm wondering if I should do more with the poem or start a series or just move on.  I'm letting everything percolate for awhile.

 Here's the poem, which has no title at this point.  Consider it a working draft.

The sky spoke the truth.
The full moon waxed and waned,
and the star continued to blaze,
outlasting the murderous dictators,
pathways made straight
for the march of rigid empires.

Wise men would come and go, wise women
too, those who said yes, those who asked
why.  The highborn made lowly,
the outposts uplifted.

You who have worn the bridal
gown now cloaked in sackcloth.
Ashes smudged on foreheads,
they persevere.  Some would forsake
these epiphanies, but we know:
the truth shall set you free. 

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