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break your silence with a hammer, child.

October 29, 2008

I’ve said it before, and will say it again: I am a creature of place. To get my bearings here in Richmond, and now to have found a compass for my near future (more on that later, but it’s a professional development of the gainfully compensated variety) seems to have unlocked my cell of poetic sparsity. As always, I have been keeping a running hodgepodge of napkins, post-its, and journal scribblings of inspirations for poems. Sometimes its a concept, sometimes just an object that exudes metaphoric potential. Regardless, I’ve been reading, and piling up these one-liners, and finally, with two solid first drafts emergent, I think I can say I’m back on the poetry express. (Soon to come: an enforced number of lines produced daily, regardless of their originality/usability/or-just-plain-not-suckiness? I think it could be in order.) For now, enjoy. More to come!

St. Benedict’s on Sheppard

“All guests who arrive be received like Christ. . .
And to all that do, due honor be shown.”
– Benedict of Nursia

The corner of our new street
is pinned down by St.Benedict,
his brow etched with PAX,
his stone feet daily passed
by the uniformed children:
swatches of plaid and blue
homeward bound.

I can’t see him from the porch:
too many birches, refusing their fullest
yellow plume, though it’s nearing November.
Not a Catholic, I nevertheless wrap
myself in his near presence.
I visit him, flanked by painted glass.

In his arms, a broken cup of poison, a snake.
A raven crowds one shoulder. He seems
too melancholy to watch over schoolchildren,
better suited to weather the pain
of farmers’ uprooted, unyielding earth.

I pray over my golden chrysanthemum,
like some jaundiced woman near death.
I ask for sun, and for my own sake,
Benedict, run my fingers over your inward caves.
If my home is here, let me love it
with sanctimonious, scientific zeal.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 29, 2008 2:25 pm

    Your stuff always makes me smile or cry, it makes me feel. It’s just always so real. I can’t ever make things so real sound so profound, so pretty. I think your work just always takes on a quality that the majority of humanity can enjoy. I was walking on that street in Richmond just now, reveling in a rather holy moment, thank you.

    “Soon to come: an enforced number of lines produced daily, regardless of their originality/usability/or-just-plain-not-suckiness? I think it could be in order.” Please do.

  2. greeneyedmuse permalink*
    October 29, 2008 5:08 pm

    you’re too kind, Josh. thank you!

  3. Charles permalink
    October 29, 2008 10:02 pm

    Wonderful stuff. It was your poetry that originally made me bookmark your blog when I stumbled upon it one day. Glad you’re writing and enjoying it.


  1. Autumn makes me feel desperate. « { The Green-Eyed Muse }

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