For a time, you were the wall
against which I threw snowballs
shaped like poems that blew into my face.
Now you are the mist above ruins.
For a time, you were the millstone
that sat upon my collarbone and chafed
me till I bled and mastered slouching.
Now you rise like smoke rings.
For a time, you were the bottleneck
that calcified my sweetest words the more
I tried to push them them through your veins.
Now you are my sacral bowl.
For a time, you were the poetry
that ground my winter wheat to fine
and stirred my torpid blood to blue.
Now you are my legacy.
© Elaine Stirling, 2014
Photograph by author
Gives me the sense of a well-exercised path written across a valley. Now we’re on to appreciating the perspective gained and celebrating the view.
Thank you, Bridge. I do feel this poem is a sort of pocket guide version of a land so well traveled, I’ll never need to visit it again. Held with affection, nonetheless.
Reminds me of Billy Collins, another of my favorite poets. I do look forward each day to reading your new poems, and reviewing my old favorites, which I mark as favorites but somehow, on WordPress, they don’t stay marked.
Love the images in this one.
Helen, I appreciate so much that you’re enjoying my near daily poetic output (read here: not thinking, omg, not another one!) and humbled that you would mention Billy Collins.
A friend recently shared a vid clip of that wonderful man. He said that he used to make his students memorize at least one poem, and recently on the subway, a former student came up to him. Now an oncologist, the man thanked Billy and insisted on reciting the Dickinson poem he’d memorized and still remembered. Moments like that, and the one you’ve just given me, truly are priceless. Thank you!
Gavriel's Muse said:
Unless time becomes void, we are prisoners of time until we become timeless… 🙂
True enough, Gavriel. As long as there’s one more poem or book to write, I’m happy enough to be imprisoned. 😉
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