Saturday, September 1, 2007

Patricia Kelly

Invitation From a Fat Woman

Give yourself to a grand sculpting:
my darkling seashore
threatening briefly
to keep your hands' hot shape.

Feed at the great breast of my body:
this surging queendom
whose cold surface lights
now barely survive
in the blue of my eyes.

Be covered and cradled,
shipwrecked and born again,
to land and lie restingin the salty shadows
of my slowly shifting dunes.

Then close your quieting eyes.

And feel my waves
breaking their habit of cold
against the sky.

On Collecting
(based on a dream)

The woman in my dream
writes poem after poem.
She is tall and golden, with a smile
like a crescent moon lazily rocking
on the rim of the world.

She reels in line after languid
line, her words strung like nebulae
in which my envy spins,
a shadow catch.

Wakefulness intrudes,
trailing a stark wire across
the sky on which dark birds
perch, waiting to escape through
the blue door of dawn.

Her lines unravel, the dream
more a black hole now that traps
its own lingering light.

I cull and hoard lines from her lost poems
like Grandma in the Great Depression
saved the least bit of string, knotted end
to end and wound round and round
in a motley globe.


I do not know where your grief walks,
perhaps through an icy fog
across a long forgotten field,
or dives, perhaps through a winter sky,
dodging acute arrows of sympathy.

But I do know this bright beaked bird
can speed through your blood
leaving hollows in its wake
to be filled into healing stillness
by a slow seeping.

The Trees Within

These ancient woods that dwell within
hold the broken sky together.

Tall familiar friends, whose sides I climbed
in other times to mend the sky.

Wise ones, whose shadows I curl up beneath
and dream of climbing dark sweet bark
that creaks and nods,

dream of being offered up to sky again,
to touch and heal, rooted.

Wish Bones

When I have mined my memory for its last poem
will my past collapse in on itself
like an old mine shaft and gratefully
give up its ghosts

or will the sum of ancient years
lie shining in the sun of consciousness
like a bird's bones picked clean by scavengers

and might I firmly grasp the breastbone
that once sheltered a wounded heart,

then, pulling on that arched rib
finally make the break?

And, what then?

Will my wish come true
once my past is dust?


Rethabile said...

Good question, I don't know. Masterfully handled lines.

Rethabile said...

That was for Wish Bones, btw.