Friday, December 04, 2009
Poetry Friday -- I Praise My Destroyer
Some of those close to me are dealing with the tragic loss of young lives, and others with the painful loss of parents or friends to cancer or Alzheimer's. It's easy to be angry and disbelieving and sad to the point of drowning.
from "Elegy" by Diane Ackerman
The world is breaking someone else's heart
today, the roses are busily mumbling scent,
all the greens of summer have blown apart...
...My own sorrow starts
small as China, then bulges to an Orient.
The world is breaking someone else's heart.
All the greens of summer have blown apart.
Eventually, acceptance is necessary in order to go on another day.
from "We Die" by Diane Ackerman
...Lost friend, you taught me lessons
I longed to learn, and this final one I've learned
against my will: the one spoken in silence,
warning us to love hard and deep,
clutch dear ones tighter, ransom each day,
the horror lesson I saw out of the corner of my eye
but refused to believe until now: we die.
And if we are to live joyfully in the midst of tragedy, loss, and the breaking of hearts, then we must learn to praise our destroyer.
from "I Praise My Destroyer" by Diane Ackerman
...Our cavernous brains
won't save us in the end,
though, heaven knows, they enhance the drama.
Despite passion's rule, deep play
and wonder, worry hangs
like a curtain of trembling beads
across every doorway.
But there was never a dull torment,
and it was grace to live
among the fruits of summer, to love by design,
and walk the startling Earth
for what seemed
an endless resurrection of days.
I praise life's bright catastrophes,
and all the ceremonies of grief.
I praise our real estate -- a shadow and a grave.
I praise my destroyer,
and will continue praising
until hours run like mercury
through my fingers, hope flares a final time
in the last throes of innocence,
and all the coins of sense are spent.
by Diane Ackerman
Random House, 1998
(my own copy, autographed by the author!)
(If you follow the link to Amazon and "Click to look inside," you can read the three poems I've excerpted in their entirety.)
The round up this week is at Wild Rose Reader.