Wow, where did September go? I can say it was a very trying month for me. My daughter moved to Ireland to start working on her master's, but she only stayed there 9 days. She was overwhelmed and felt she could not possibly concentrate on her studies in the condition she was in, so I flew her home, and she will be starting all over again. From age 16 to now (24), she has not been without a car, job, school, or place to live. She has not been without a piano. Of course, she sold everything to move to Ireland. I know things will settle down when she returns from the west coast. I found it hard to separate myself from my child, so I have been struggling as well. I just feel it wasn't the right time for her to be there, or maybe it was the right time but the wrong place. Or, maybe it was the right place at the wrong time (I think I just said that! Geez!).
I have been trying to revise some old poems as I seem incapable of constructing any new ones. My mind is so filled with work and family and school and menopause and getting older that I just can't seem to muster the spirit to write. Or perhaps, it's just not the right time for me to be writing. Anyway, her are a few older ones that I have recently sent to Blueline for critique. I really like their heavy duty critique forum. I submit a poem and 4-5 readers receive it in their email without my name attached. I like the idea that they don't know who wrote the poem (though after reading a person's work for a very long time, they may begin to "think" they know who wrote it), but the critiques have been so thorough and helpful that I am feeling more inclined to continue to go through some things that I have considered submitting. So, here they are!
When I came the first time,
I had a hand in it--the only one.
The next time it happened, I bled
on great grandma's cherry hardwood, ashamed.
The revelation was strange. As foreign
as you. In me.
Something about early autumn's colors--
the red maple making love to a mandarin
sky, the chrysanthemums strewing their
ambers and violets across the lawns,
the wildness of flowering herbs, takes
me back to that floor and you.
I haven't bled in months. My body
aches for first times, for days when confusion
had an explanation.
On this night, cool and uneventful,
I crave to know your hands, to be torn
and confused anew. To be starting
the journey that is now nearing its end.
And all around me, the leaves fall too early
for comfort. To the ground, so soft and green.
This night is what many nights become:
quiet--less trafficked, many things
hushed and unhurried. I wonder who rides
in the cars that now trickle down
the asphalt not so far
from my burgundy front door.
I have not noticed in months the way
life continues its ebb and the inevitable
flow. Preoccupation becomes occupation:
"the f of x equals" becomes my mantra.
And I can't say I wish for a time when
my thoughts were not consumed
or filled to some capacity with trying
to comprehend life without some function
of x or otherwise.
When a leaf from a dying poinsettia
found its way into my cat's mouth,
a moment caught me unawares, and I lifted
her into the air and shook her with so
much passion that one would think
all of earth and sky had come to some
abrupt understanding. And only in that moment
when the remainders of a season emptied
themselves onto the hardwood did I grasp
something about functions, about how little
one knows even when a problem is solved.
nd I am left listening to the sounds
of the cars going by, singing their operettas,
as I find reverence in the small miracle of life
surrounding life that resides inside those brackets
of yet to be solved equations.