Sunday, April 20, 2014

Water Witched

Lately, I find
that I slip loose from time,
like a strand of hair from its clip,
and no more remarkable than that.

It's like falling asleep in the daytime,
and knowing something passed by that I was unaware of,
but that did not harm me,
nor take much notice of me at all.

I half expect to find high button shoes on my feet,
and lace at my throat and wrists.
Maybe it's Emily, a glimpse of red hair I seem to see
at the other side of the garden,
disappearing down a worn track between the trees.

Now that the weather has changed
and the days are sweet with spring,
I go walking
so that I can sense you, on my skin and in my blood,
no matter how far away you pretend to be.

Anyway, I might head west and south 
the next time I slip loose.
I might follow the sunflower road
until I come to the place where the prairie grass is waist high,
and a stream runs through, all unseen.

Then, my love,
there will only be your Indian eyes,
and my desire coming up quick 
like wind-blown clouds
above the water that you witched to call me close,
as yours as storms are summer's.

_______

“The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands, trusting the pony to get me home again. Sometimes I followed the sunflower-bordered roads. Fuchs told me that the sunflowers were introduced into that country by the Mormons; that at the time of the persecution when they left Missouri and struck out into the wilderness to find a place where they could worship God in their own way, the members of the first exploring party, crossing the plains to Utah, scattered sunflower seeds as they went. The next summer, when the long trains of wagons came through with all the women and children, they had a sunflower trail to follow. I believe that botanists do not confirm Jake's story but, insist that the sunflower was native to those plains. Nevertheless, that legend has stuck in my mind, and sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia

16 comments:

hedgewitch said...

This is lyric and epic, all the big words--yet simple, direct, the heart speaking its mind. Beautiful, shimmering poetry, Shay--I could quote the whole thing back but will just drool (tastefully and in a ladylike way)over it instead.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Very beautiful. Wow!

grapeling said...

yes, beautiful ~

Cloudia said...

Thanks for the clinic in Spring & inspiration.

Shared your previous poem with a very wise special writerly friend who enjoyed it as I do. Great work




Aloha

ccchampagne said...

The days are indeed sweet with spring, and I enjoyed reading this! Well done!

Jinksy said...

Exquisite words sandwiched between compatible photographs, just right for an April morning. :-)

Mama Zen said...

God, this is gorgeous.

Kenia Cris said...

Spring steals the best in me instead of giving me the gift of words.

I've been wondering and I think we need a code word, or phrase I can leave on the comment form everytime I come and read you and you leave me dumbstruck, so I don't have to repeat myself, either by saying 'OMG this is beautiful', or by complaining you cause me to go speechless. So, what should it be?

<3

Kenia Cris said...

Oh, it just occurred to me I forgot to say this is really beautiful.

^_^


Kiss you. <3

Sumana Roy said...

such enjoyable lines....

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is very beautiful indeed. I love the way you have controlled the pace of the poem, so the reader must read slowly, really taking in each image.

A funny coincidence - as we were driving the long road to take my daughter back to her university today, I noticed how many sunflowers were growing at the side of the road. I don't know if the seeds fall out of trucks carrying stock feed or how they come to be there on the edge of the freeway.

Mark Kerstetter said...

The first stanza speaks so clearly to me as the mind in a state of meditation, open, ready.

Margaret said...

The first stanza is such a slight movement, such a little thing to be compared to - "like a strand of hair from its clip" - yet the visual is so powerful, I actually think I feel myself sinking into the poem right there.

Willa Cather I adore - her writing thrills me no end and you did a great job capturing her narrative style.

Susie Clevenger said...

Love the magic feel to this...attraction seems to have a bit of a spell cast to draw two people together..."the water you witched"

sharplittlepencil.com said...

"The water you witched to draw me close," man, Shay, you can write 'em! The beginning, the simple strand of hair, and then it unspools into a glimpse of Emily and finally, what really matters. Brill, Shay.

Thanks for your support during "the Nina Time." Love, Amy

Kim Nelson said...

Your imagery is so strong, I walked with you.