Weekly Poem # 12-17
This series of poems come from another poetry workshop. We had to take a short poem and use every word in the poem as the first word of a new line in a new poem. I found a small book of poems by Jan Zwicky and wrote one during the workshop. I enjoyed the exercise a lot and so went back to her Six Variations on Silence and wrote six poems. Jan's verse is in italics amd my verse follows each line beginning with one of her words.
Six variations on six variations
From Jan Zwicky’s: Six Variations on Silence
The door to the season stands ajar.
Through it, crickets sing,
grass ripens in the flat stones of the walk.
The fluttering rhythm of a heart, its
door trembling open
to allow in
the tender caress of a new
season. Her love
ajar, awaiting him.
Through that fragile moment
it comes: a petal silk soft
cricket mating song call
sing to me, sing to me: come.
Grass bows beneath her desire
ripens in her heat
in the fertility of her smile.
The sea cascading on the shore calms to
flat, mirror smooth, shimmering.
Stones soften, become pillows
of down to cradle them in embrace.
The sun halts its westward
walk to let them linger.
Drowsy after breakfast, the smell of coffee
toast. Basil springing
motionless on the windowsill.
Drowsy lovers ponder morning’s brightness
after the sweet haze of love making
breakfast seems a long journey away
The close presence of warm body
smell carrying memories
of the night. Her skin tasted of
coffee, cream chocolate, his like
toast buttered and smooth. Mushrooms
basil, the earthliness of gardens
springing from her pores holds him
motionless. Her taste lingers
on his tongue. His eye catches
the shadow crossing the
windowsill: a first cloud forming.
Deep in the ravine, pollen settles
to the eddy’s swirl. You could watch all day
and never see it move.
Deep, deeper than the edge of darkness
in time’s furthest reaches
the stellar dust swirls a vortex
ravine that swallows stars like
pollen dust in a black pond
settles origins into long oblivion.
To begin, to end
the particles of nothingness caught in
swirl dark matter’s unmeasured weight.
You, one fragment of eternity
could be, could become, could
watch in one brief second
all the unfolding of substance, time
day, year, century, eons, eternity.
And you wait, wait for end appearing
never coming, never reaching, never there
See everything, see nothing, see
it condensed in stillness. See it: one grain of pollen
move on the tongue of one bee becoming honey.
float above the hill’s brow.
Thunder in the light.
Cumulus dreams close down, grey
swollen with tears
float across his forehead
above his streaming eyes
the tumult over him like that
hill’s cliff face, danger beckoning, his
brow feverish tight.
Thunder bolts carve through him
in staccato flashes
the screen of his mind flickering
light and dark, dark and light.
The jade river in its skin of wind
below. Sudden coolness
of cloud shadow, even at mid-day
The white mortar cradles
jade fragments as tears
river his face, beard
its grey hiding
skin marked with scars
of old stories where storm
wind swallowed his life.
below his consciousness a
coolness flooding in, waves
of sorrow, regrets
cloud his thoughts
shadow his dream of freedom
even in the moment of destruction
at the end of hatred
mid-day brightness turns bitter.
Yellow leaves at first light, falling singly
with a sound like rain.
Yellow cloaked angel
leaves the invisible realm, enters
at the edge of morning, slips
first into her dream, to
light her night terrors her
falling, falling, lifts her
singly to solid ground
With feathered wings rustling she wakes
a dark horror evaporated, to some
sound, sweet, impossible to name
like the tinkling of stars, like
rain cleansing her face after a fire.