Saturday, September 9, 2017

Nickel & Rose

I would go to Mass, if I could be alone there
to love the dim light, the flowers,
and place a nickel in the plate, when the nickel is all I have.

We hang on our crosses,
hang around after death,
hang our hopes on a rose stem that bends and vanishes.

Here is a rose.
Here is a coin.
Here I am, tiny in this vast space.

I would go to Mass, if you would come with me.
If you would whisper to me that's it's all true,
and does not die--
the dogs I've had, 
the women I've loved,
and the men, too.

"Peace be with you."
"And also with you."
I think,
peace is overrated;
give me a dream about a nun's kiss
and a sacred heart that stays, like a nickel in a rose bower.
_____

139 words (so sue me) for Magaly's "Dearest Book, I Wrote You A Poem."

The book I wrote for is Robert Girardi's novel "Madeleine's Ghost."

Image at top: Maud Feely, 1910.

19 comments:

Outlawyer said...

Your closing imagery is particularly weighted (beyond a nickel) and memorable - a beautiful plaintiveness about the entire poem. Beautiful pic as well. k.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Shay--
This poem is one of my favorites. However, I say that often about your writing.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

With the universe of books so wide, more likely than not the reader won't have read the book the poet takes up in this challenge. So the book-love poem stands wholly on its own. The love of this book is clear, "as a sacred heart that stays, like a nickel in a rose bower." Peace is overrated; much better the best-turned sentence.

hedgewitch said...

For me the second three lines are the most poignant; how we yearn and how we remember, even when life itself seems gone, when there's only emptiness. This is a beautiful post-love poem, Shay. We all have our own sacraments, and our nickels, however much more a heart that stays really costs.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I'm with Joy... Those last lines do something to the blood and soul, they leave the mind with thoughts that are all flesh and spirit and human want.

Magaly Guerrero said...

And, of course, I'm adding the book to my list...

Cloudia said...

This poem is truly EXCELLENT! Moving. Concise. wonderful. Nourishing. Mahalo

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A gorgeous poem, my friend. It speaks to my heart and herstory.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is so incredibly beautiful!💖 Especially love; ""Peace be with you." "And also with you." I think, peace is overrated; give me a dream about a nun's kiss and a sacred heart that stays, like a nickel in a rose bower." Beautifully executed!💖

Rommy said...

I like the blasphemy woven into this piece. I think I need to read this book.

Toni Spencer said...

What a truly lovely poem. So full of the sacred (heart) and the nickels we have all put into offering plates - the widow's mite who gave all she had - If you would whisper to me that's it's all true,
and does not die--
the dogs I've had, 
the women I've loved,
and the men, too.
I love this stanza. And the cats and the birds I've rescued and my mother who recently die. Indeed, this stanza cause me to weep.

Martin Kloess said...

This is so comforting. I have had similar feelings.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

An intriguing evocation of the book (which I had not heard of before).

I was thankfully not brought up Christian, but my Catholic cousins did take me to midnight mass one xmas eve, and I adored the pageantry.

brudberg said...

I was mostly spared the burden of Lutheran upbringing, I saw enough what it would do in my father who wasn't.

Kim Russell said...

My not knowing the book has allowed the poem to shine on its own and now I want to read it - it's written in my notebook!
I particularly love the lines:
'We hang on our crosses,
hang around after death,
hang our hopes on a rose stem that bends and vanishes'.

Shadow said...

Aaaah, you have the fire in your blood, you want to hear your racing heart, feel the shiver on your skin, who can blame you *grin*

gillena cox said...

A soulful write. Well done

Much 😍 love...

Sara McNulty said...

Excellent tribute! I love, in particular, these lines:

''We hang on our crosses,
hang around after death,
hang our hopes on a rose stem that bends and vanishes'.

'"Peace be with you."
"And also with you."
I think,
peace is overrated;
give me a dream about a nun's kiss
and a sacred heart that stays, like a nickel in a rose bower.'

Pratibha said...

This was haunting. Will search the book soon. Thanks.