Today I have been sorting through some old poems, to see which ones I still want to consider viable and alive, and which ones just deserve to fade away in my computer files. Here is one from the late ’90s, when we lived in Slippery Rock. I still remember the cafe where I wrote it the morning after I dreamed it.The Birth of Phoenix This is the story of the woman Who believed that happiness lay in the sound of Any-Man-At-All slipping through her open doorway, Who grew beyond bounds, Whose walls dissolved in a grey mist to let in a garden, a star, and a small silvery snake, Who discovered the spiraling staircase which led to the Aunt in the attic, Who plied that old woman with indecent questions and robed herself warmly in old woman’s laughter, Who carried the rage of the crone in her pocket like a sculpted soapstone jackal, Who suckled that fury–that ravenous infant, Who knew a canary from plaster pretenders, Who built her own cottage of clay, thatch, and brambles, Who walked through the market, unveiled by the eyebrows of merchants and gabblers, Who swam to deep waters alone like a manta, Who left the green waves for a road full of daughters, Who shaved off her hair, to step naked and newborn among glowing embers.
1. Mid-day today, Ellis raced through the room (after 36 hours of intermittent up-chucking) and announced, “I feel so good!” And promptly made himself a sandwich and ate it. And kept it down.
2. This image, which stays with me: The bluebirds at my parents’ house know that my dad goes out the glass doors at the back of the house to feed them. On Sunday as we were sitting at the dining room table putting a puzzle together, one of them came and sat on the handle of the glass door, and peered around the door frame through the glass and watched us. Apparently he often sits there to watch his friend drinking coffee or eating or working a puzzle.
3. The release of a good stretch
4. Eager new customers, and long-term customers who have become friends
5. Planning and plotting
May we walk in beauty.