Poetry- "A Mattress Lies Half-Buried in the Field"

First, the poem-

A Mattress Lies Half-Buried in the Field



It is the forgotten pieces that will teach us,
the derelict
and abandoned.
The garbage. Failure.
It is from weeds crushed underfoot, and from rust that we will draw our dreams.

For there is a kind of joy
that can rise
even from sorrow,
when you have let go and been
unacquainted with truth.

And this thing, here,
in front of me—
it is not a mattress, mildew, it is not
forgetfulness. It is not old— it is dead. It is
a companion, an angel, a still forgotten wish.

And you might think, having said that,
that this will be
the sort of poem that ought to end with lines like
“This is not the smell of death,
but of harvest.”

But it won’t.

For this is the smell of death.
And this is the smell of harvest.



November 18 and 19th, 2011


Now, thoughts.

I'm coming out of the Thanksgiving fog. Kat's off in D.C. for a few days, and Tasha is at her grandmas. Thus, 3 blog posts in one night! :D

Recently, I happened to have the opportunity to listen to Mary Oliver on NPR. She spoke and read for an hour at SF City Arts and Lectures. This was a wonderful thing to listen to. I've always been a passing fan of Oliver's work, but I just loved this reading. I was ready, I think.

I haven't really written poetry regularly in atleast 2 years. I wrote a few last fall/winter for my manuscript, "The Seed". But even before that, I'd not written much of anything for atleast another year. The joy had just sort of seeped out of it. I hadn't gotten much pleasure out of getting work published in magazines; I felt very isolated; there wasn't a great deal of joy in my work; and poets never seemed the types who would want to open up and share their work with you/actually connect. It had been a lonely, hermetic experience. That was part of why I let it go and started working on the children's lit. Anything that makes you laugh outloud while creating it is something you should be doing more of. And that's what I've been getting from writing and drawing.

Whatever the case, these poems came to me, and it's been a pleasure. I have a few more, and should be posting them over the next few days or so.