Proof For The Postulation Of An Old Poet

"There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.  Like, telling someone you love them. Or giving your money away, all of it."  - Mary Oliver - Moments

The generosity of madmen
--whether born or made so--
is like a pitcher overturned, 
sweetness wasted in the sharing.

I'm not about to mistake straitjackets for haute couture;
I am as hard and closed as a policeman's nightstick.

Still, you can lay naked in the spring grass,
holding a hymnal and a caramel.
Pretend yourself a parrot, all colors.
I will still be the crow from whom the night borrows its darkness.

When you have gone, I will play ancient games
with dying cicadas.
The years will fold themselves into pastries
the crumbs of which I horde and never drop.

Go, parrot. And this time
do not leave open my coat of poems
with sleeves like shaded roads, and wool like forgotten noons.
But if you do, I will have been right in my manic certainty

that you would make me cry in the end.
------------

22 lines for Real Toads.

Comments

Kim M. Russell said…
You took the quote, rinsed it, wrung it out and reshaped it, Shay, into something that kept the base material but grew its own backbone! My favourite lines:
‘I'm not about to mistake straitjackets for haute couture;
I am as hard and closed as a policeman's nightstick’.
I also enjoyed:
‘Pretend yourself a parrot, all colors.
I will still be the crow from whom the night borrows its darkness.’
Sherry Blue Sky said…
A day is not complete until I have read a poem by you. I sigh, I sigh, you write so much better than I........but it gives my heart wings to admire your talent. I love that you will remain the crow from whom the night borrows its darkness. And cackle at "bitter old hags unite". LOL. I went in somewhat the same direction, just not so lyrically. I am old. My head is dizzy and it hurts. I am happy to be writing anything at all. And to be reading you.
tonispencer said…
I will still be the crow from whom the night borrows its darkness...I love that you wrote this. You could have almost used the quote from Ginsberg for this. Holding a caramel and a hymnal. Gag. I disdain the overly romantic poems that lie in their teeth and parrot what they think people want to hear. You will never do that Shay, thank goodness. Your writing is always clear and honest and spot on. thank you for writing to this prompt.
Carrie Van Horn said…
I utterly adore every line and the truth they each uphold, but i am in love with "the years will fold themselves like pastries the crumbs of which i horde and never drop" such amazing imagery. You always say it like no one else can! I love this poem!!!!!!
Sioux Roslawski said…
So, the summer heat has not killed you yet... Some of have our brain baked by the horrible heat and humidity. You, on the other hand, apparently flourish.

Gorgeous poem.
Margaret said…
Each stanza is so strong in imagery and originality. All the beauty before her and yet it can't be savored - That manic certainty forbids it. Amazing!
Brendan said…
So difficult indeed to carry Oliver's bright early sails into the latter years, especially when frost is everywhere in poems. An honest and true and unvarnished assent to the thing which bids us all sing.
Old Egg said…
What a glorious read; words of the mind usually unspoken but giving us access the to writers feelings
hedgewitch said…
"When you have gone, I will play ancient games/with dying cicadas..." This is the phrase that leapt out at me, startling in its aptness--as is the line about the overturned pitcher. Just brilliant, Shay--full of a poetic juice sweeter than summer blackberries.
Helen said…
This one transported me to a far away place, I remain grounded in your words. You are magic.
Shay- this is magical. You cast a spell with your words and I am mesmerized.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Oh.. WOW! A Quintessential Fireblossom Love Potion poem. I love the stark contrasts and the taste of caramel.
Helen said…
Perfection in all of your poetry! I love years folding into pastries. Sweet beyond comprehension.
I am awed by this poem, Shay. Each stanza is a poem. The last one wraps up every thought that goes before it.
Vivian Zems said…
You did justice to this quote, Shay. I love how you weave your metaphors. Excellent job!

Popular Posts