Sunday, May 26, 2013

in the season of catkins and maple keys

This year, my yard and walks are thick with maple keys
and catkins from the walnut tree,
washed in heaps at every fence and barrier.
They believe in time,
having faith in the thing they need.
Me?
I haven't got that kind of time, not anymore.

When I was young, I wanted the whole sky,
without an idea at all what it might contain.
Now, the dome of Heaven has become, for me, particular and small,
but as full as my heart, which is just a heart,
but as tempestuous within me as beating wings.

I would like to say, darling, that now is the moment
for a tender comfort in each other,
a whispering in the evening hour, as all the red goes for sunset,
leaving our blood light and calm at last--
but you, My Love, would call me out,
and I can't lie to you, even for the sake of pretty lines.

We have had to do what we have had to do.
Our patterns are not perfect at all,
and the things that have given us lift are showing the damage of their utility.
There is blood; ours and others', 
mixed with our markings.

Open your arms for me as I will, mine, for you.
We know that doing this is dangerous,
but like will always seek like,
because that is the way home,
even if we spin and roll in mid-air in the dare of loving.
The vain sunset is still there, a spoiled prima donna, 
but we have this moment 
to forget her.

I love you, in every imperfection.
I trust you to touch talons to my scars,
and to somehow soothe them despite all sharpness.
Here is where we have come to, and it is a fine enough thing.
Look at the maple keys and the catkins--
they are blameless, 
but the minute they leave their mothers, they are looking up at us.
_______

Ron, at Shutterbugs, has very kindly allowed me to use his breathtaking photograph at the top of this post. The image is his and may not be used elsewhere without permission. Please visit him.

maple keys

catkins


15 comments:

hedgewitch said...

When you get to a certain place in life, every Spring breaths with the ghost-lungs of Fall, every dawn is an intimation of sunset--this poem takes that feeling of the hourglass which is slowly emptying and fills it with possibilities, with richness, and with each remaining grain that falls not sand, but truth. A fine poem, Shay, particularly as it picks up speed like a swooping raptor spinning at the end, and Ron's picture is dazzling.

TexWisGirl said...

i saw ron's image on his blog and saw your comment, too. mighty powerful imagery to go with his. :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

The opening stanza strikes such a chord.. the gentle acceptance of the changes time has wrought upon self.

Now, the dome of Heaven has become, for me, particular and small...

How does that happen? How do we become content with our own small square of sky?

*sigh*

more coffee, please said...

I find this section to be particularly powerful:

"the things that have given us lift are showing the damage of their utility.
There is blood; ours and others',
mixed with our markings.

Open your arms for me as I will, mine, for you.
We know that doing this is dangerous,
but like will always seek like,
because that is the way home,
even if we spin and roll in mid-air in the dare of loving"

And the ending as well:
"Here is where we have come to, and it is a fine enough thing.
Look at the maple keys and the catkins--
they are blameless,
but the minute they leave their mothers, they are looking up at us"

This is a sad and painful piece. But yes, you reach a point where you have to decide whether this is enough or not. Life, love, darings---they are never exactly what we want them to be. We could always imagine a way to make our flights better. But there are times when it just isn't possible, and so we have to find contentment in the way things are. Nothing helps us do just that more than getting lost in the wonder of nature---and realizing that our course is embedded in nature. Sometimes even when you try to fly in a different way, you can't help but go in the direction that makes the most sense, based on your own nature. And then there is that like being drawn to like factor.

This is such a beautiful poem. It makes me wonder what in the world I'm doing inside.

This line really stands out to me. I love it:
"the things that have given us lift are showing the damage of their utility" ... I'll take this with me to ponder.

Roselie May said...

"I love you, in every imperfection.
I trust you to touch talons to my scars,
and to somehow soothe them despite all sharpness." I loved that...

Carol Steel said...

This is breathtaking in scope and heart piercing in so many places. I do love the lines:
"I trust you to touch talons to my scars and to somehow soothe them despite all sharpness."

This poem describes to me the reality of deep loving after the messiness of infatuations and relationship battles are done.

It offers much to re-read and to ponder.

Mama Zen said...

This is stunning. Stunning.

myheartslovesongs.com said...

sometimes the lines between pain and pleasure get very blurry.....

{love you labels}

LaTonya Baldwin said...

Don't feel much like talking except I'm glad you're here and this a space where I can heal.

Helen said...

.. 'I love you in every imperfection' gives my heart a little jolt. What a brave, bold statement.

Susie Clevenger said...

Change comes...in this piece you have excepted it with language so beautiful. "even if we spin and roll in mid-air in the dare of loving." Just one of many lines I love!

Kay L. Davies said...

Even raptors, with talon, claw, and bloodlust, love one another: I've watched falcons raise a youngster in the trees nearby.
That a love poem has been inspired by the photo of such a bird, rather than a turtledove, is no surprise, for love has teeth, and love has claws.
K

hedgewitch said...

Glad to have had the chance to read this again--so many new things struck me this time, especially the way you offhandedly work in gems like this:
"..and the things that have given us lift are showing the damage of their utility."
All things have the defects of their virtues, indeed. This was even better the second time around.

humbird said...

'but like will always seek like,
because that is the way home,' - love these lines ~ maple keys - my every year's 'noses' in childhood...Thanks :)

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Shay, this is what happened: I started to read your poem; my jaw dropped open, and I didn't realize it was still open until the end. THis is powerful stuff, starting with wanting the sky to that shrinking of understanding there is more to life than that sky... to focusing on your lover. The talons etching healing on your scars, my Lord, this is amazing writing. Brill! Amy