The Yeatsian

Poetry & Lyricism "A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, Our stitching and unstitching has been naught." WB Yeats "Adam's Curse"

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Location: at the Singer's Microphone, United States

I'm in my second marriage to a wonderful woman, my beautiful wife! I thank God everyday He brought her to me! "Restore us, O God of hosts: Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!" PSALM 80

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Maidenhair as Metaphor

September, an afternoon cold and dark
it was when last we kissed, and turned away.
Your destination was Jerusalem,
a village rich as a fragrant garden
and deep as a darkeyed woman fulfilled
but red and bloody as a massacre,
a heart of lashing pain, strife and hate,
and yet your home; while I turned to return
to the north and the cold bitter wind,
where I would turn my eyes and ears to face
the void inside.

And on that afternoon
I bought a fern, a maidenhair so lush
with green life and leaf that even a dark
September might seem eternal spring.
That maidenhair I meant to content me,
in kindly compensation for the loss
of your presence and the loss of your voice,
a balm to soothe the self-inflicted wound
of having turned away that afternoon
from your gentle eyes and smile, and your arms.

And so I placed it near the bed, keeping
a watchful, a loving eye on its green,
feeding and stroking it, singing it songs
--then praying, as it too turned away,
leaf by leaf, its life sliding away
before my eyes and heart. And that winter
was bitter loneliness, aching desire,
and the darkness of confusion and entropy.

What was it made the spring return, and sing
in my chest, in my eyes, in my breath?
What was it made the maidenhair turn green
again, return to the wealth of the fountain,
rediscovering the scent of jasmine joy,
expanding, when it seemed most to contract?

As if she'd heard the magic of your voice
returning your love and sorrow to my arms,
the fern sent forth a bud, green and light,
a bud that was but the herald of a host
of like green buds, proudly opening out
to the space I pray that you will turn to joy.

And once again the dream will live, redeeming
our fall from glory into servitude,
pulsating to the rhythm of desire
felt and fulfilled, in a motion sublime,
and making green become the color white,
green subsuming the source of the rainbow,
green transmuting the lineaments of pain,
and the sinews of death, green becoming
the fire of the blood and the power of the eye,
and turning sensual into eternal delight.

Oct. 11 - Nov. 1, 1990

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