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Monday, October 25, 2010

Evening Flight

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Evening flight

If I could look down from above
on croplands bordered by tree fences, bare branched,
a shadow of dust like a flock of finches
behind the farmer’s slicing disc,
my car a small crawler on a thin groundway
of gray, dividing green and brown fields in two

If instead of the whispered mourning moon of
the saxophone from car speakers
I could only hear the muffled, distant nicker
of a horse from her open stall

If my thoughts were these dun birds, flying,
and all the great world below
tree hollows and rummages of berries

If in the coming winter
all became clear – leaves blown gone,
the globe sheeted white, dried grass heads
floating over her like candle flames above paraffin

If the world were seeds
and my thoughts birds upon them,
unlocking them, one by one
with my mind-heart’s strong, cleaving beak

If I could write from here, and break
the world in two like that
so it could germinate through me,
become a whole thing again,
I would.


~ Ruth M. 


Listen to a podcast of this poem here.



61 comments:

The Bug said...

My first response was wow & then I erased it - but why? I think it's the appropriate response here - so, WOW!

Pauline said...

"If I could write from here, and break
the world in two like that
so it could germinate through me,
become a whole thing again,
I would."

You just did! This is a marvelous piece!

Dave King said...

If I could be a part of that, I would be...

Expat From Hell said...

Just floored by this one, Ruth. What a way to start this morning. Who needs coffee now? EFH

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, this is very good indeed. I like the way you pick up on the idea of division again in the last two stanzas. Similarly the motif of the birds - and developing it. (I remember this kind poetic unity in your last poem too.) I like the carefully considered and arresting language - 'dun birds', 'rummages of berries', 'like candle flames above paraffin'. Yes, I like the poem a lot.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Lovely Ruth... especially the 5th paragraph.. such images...

Bonnie said...

To my mind there are no ifs about it ... you are doing it ... and beyond that, sharing it. Just lovely.

Lorenzo said...

Would you? You just did. Right now all I can say is thanks.

George said...

My visceral response after reading your last two words, "I would," was "you have, you have just done it." This is first rate, Ruth, beautifully structured and rendered. I love the courage of your writing, the fearless opening of your soul.

dirt clustit said...

That Sun is sure shining bright making a difference today so that when this day becomes the one of yester
there won't be any locks on tomorrow, when it becomes today.

I am with the rest of them, IF?
IF Ruthi?

more like AS IF you didn't know what your heart and mind would do when you did it.


thank God looks can't really kill you might have accidentally oblogerated the entire universe and had that happened do you really think anybody would believe "I was only trying to crack the seed"

if your are not going to be careful Ruth I am not sure it is safe to let someone with a mind and heart like yours raise a pen unless you promise us you'll be careful :)

I am obliterated Ruth. Your writing is that good

The Solitary Walker said...

Just a correction - missed out the 'of' after 'kind'.

sonia a. mascaro said...

So beautiful poem!
Thanks for the podcast.

I found your blog through Rauf and Letitia's blog and I am glad I did.
You have a wonderful blog!

Kind regards from Sonia, São Paulo, Brazil.

mystic rose said...

it was surreal actually hearing your voice, Ruth. You sound exactly as you look.. strong and clear and beautiful.

Beautiful poem of dissolving into the beauty that surrounds you.

And the picture... oh I so envy you!
What an awesome place to be in.

Oliag said...

Having read your blog for quite some time now I would say that you certainly do seem to have the ability to look down on the world from above...Your viewpoint always seems expansive and all inclusive.

I love thinking of the dried grass heads as flames flickering above:)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Me again...
I like the podcast and your voice is very beautiful!

Friko said...

If you could, then so could I, so could we all.
All who have eyes to see fissure,
to feel the break.

We cannot mend ourselves,
how will we mend all else?

You have given us a lovely poem,

Jean Spitzer said...

Wonderful.

Pat said...

I just sighed at the beauty and wonderment of this poem. My oh my.

Ruth said...

Dana, well it's good you stuck with your initial gut wow because it made me feel really great. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Pauline, it's funny how poems work, isn't it? I don't really know how it's possible. Because when I was done writing it, I felt like I could do it too. I guess we all can recreate the world around us, every day. I really believe we have power to do that, in some ways. Thank you, Pauline.

Ruth said...

OK, Dave, we're partners of the would.

Ruth said...

Kent, what a marvelous thing to say. This poem was your morning cuppa Joe! Thank you very much.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Robert. I so appreciate how you found the trope here. I really love starting a poem, and not knowing what the trope will be, and then seeing it unpeel itself as the lines evolve. It's a fun challenge to shape a poem around these metaphors, and sometimes it's downright aggravating. I am really glad you thought mine worked this time. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Gwen. I'm not surprised you like that paragraph, the way you study birds. I immediately think of a certain pen-and-ink crow that I love so much . . .

Ruth said...

Bonnie, thank you. I am amazed that words can transport us, and make us feel that anything is possible. Thank you for no ifs.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, thank you. Please have a cup of tea. Sit a spell.

Ruth said...

Dear George, thank you for that, for thinking I did something like that in this poem. And thank you for saying I am fearless in my writing. It's funny too, because this one began yesterday with absolutely nothing, no inspiration, nada. I really can't tell you how it came to pass. But I will tell you that the last five words of your comment is what it felt like. I mean that sincerely. Thank you so much for your acuity and kindness.

Ruth said...

Dusti, I just told George that there was nothing, zip, zilch, at the start of this poem. It really took a lot of work. Then something happened that happens sometimes, and something else takes over. Well it's this: the poem takes over. That's it.

That is really so good that you were obliterated, because I was obliterated earlier in the week by Terresa's poem. It's good to pass obliteration around, don't you think? I think the poem was in the sky and it wanted to come down. Thank you so very much.

Ruth said...

Robert, hi again, thank you for the clarification.

Ruth said...

Oh, hello and welcome, Sonia! I have seen you for a very long time at rauf's place. It is a big treat to welcome you here at mine. Thank you for coming, let me straighten the pillows a little . . .

I have visited you and admired your beautiful photographs many times over the years. It's a real honor to have you here.

Ruth said...

Hi there, Mystic, it's so good of you to come. Thank you for listening to the podcast too! I'm glad you liked my voice. This has been good practice, and I am working on getting rid of the breath when I speak, use my diaphragm. :|

I took the photo a few years ago and posted it on the flying photoblog. I thought Don's old 1941 Farm-All B needed to be dusted off and brought into the autumn sun. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Oliag, it means a lot to me that you feel that my viewpoint is expansive. Thank you. For a long time I have wished to be a bird, or at least to be able to fly. I have dreams of flying sometimes. I love aerial photographs, for they really do help me put things in perspective. And how about seeing the beautiful blue marble of Earth from space?

I'm glad you like those grass head flames. Let's think of them this winter when it's very cold in our fields, OK? :)

Ruth said...

Hi again, Sonia. Thank you for listening and for coming back to tell me that. I've never thought I had a beautiful voice. It's taken some courage to record it. I'm getting more comfortable with it. And I'm surprised anyone likes it! Maybe my love for these subjects is coming out . . .

Ruth said...

Thank you, Friko. Perhaps it is an illusion. Words can do that. I think Art does that. It makes us feel hopeful, that we can do something impossible. But really, I wonder if we are focusing on the wrong things to fix. Maybe we need to start fixing our minds. Fixing my thoughts is a good place to begin . . .

Ruth said...

Thank you, Jean. Here, have a cushion for your back. Tea?

Ruth said...

Pat, my dear, you need some happy sighs, for you sure enough have had enough tire blow-out exasperating sighs!

Thank you. :)

Christina said...

how beautiful, my friend.
xo

emily wierenga said...

i've never been here before, but i can assure you, i'll be returning... i haven't read poetry this good in a long time. it sung to me... and the photo... such talent here. thank you. xo

(over here from deb's)

Terresa said...

Wow, the first comment to this poem, and I can only echo it.

Ruth said...

Christina, thank you.

You are nothing but beauty, yourself. xo

Ruth said...

Hello and welcome, Emily! Thank you for your incredible comment. I'm thrilled that you connected with this post, that it sang for you. I am happy that you followed me hear from my friend Deb's.

I'm humbled by your story shared today at your blog, and the book you are writing about it. I trust the book will be published and widely utilized to help those who suffer from anorexia.

I look forward to welcoming you here whenever you can stop in.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Terresa.

Wow, or speechlessness, is how I tend to respond to your poems . . .

♥ Kathy said...

You are a truly talented writer Ruth and the photo is an absolutely perfect compliment to the poem.

emily wierenga said...

i hope you might join me for imperfect prose on thursdays, ruth. the community is opening this afternoon. peace to you, e.

Jeanie said...

Oh, Ruth -- as always your words move me, but perhaps none so much as these. Really, you must publish. Lots.

And now for something completely different. My verification word is "microbe." Go figure!

Julie said...

Ruth, I love this poem! What a wonderful piece. The images are so powerful, and I adore what it says. The voice flows beautifully to that awesome last stanza. Excellent work!

I'm also sitting here pouting, because my laptop is dead. I'm on a 15-year-old computer that won't let me hear the podcast. Boo!

Fingers and toes crossed...hopefully, my brilliant computer friend will have my laptop repaired by next week (it's nine-years-old...just a baby...haha). As soon as I get it, I will come back to listen. I am so excited to hear you read this beautiful poem.

Arti said...

I have no words to respond... just feelings of pure enjoyment. That's the magic of your imagery. Your gift is not just the literary though, that voice of yours can melt the winter snow. ;)

Ginnie said...

It's not only your poem, Sister, but the comments that affirm your giftedness that makes me so proud of you. Just...carry on!

Claudia said...

Beautiful. Will come back to listen to the podcast! Gosh, I've been missing your blog, Ruth!!

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, ♥ Kathy.

Ruth said...

Emily, thank you for that kind invitation!

Ruth said...

Jeanie, thank you for your encouragement and vote of confidence.

As for "microbe" . . . yes! First seeing from above, and then getting closer in. Exactly!

Ruth said...

Julie, your very generous comment honors me, and I thank you. I would love it if you come back to listen after your laptop is repaired. Amazing how out of sorts we can feel without our little technological friends, isn't it? I do hope you'll have it back just as you wish, and soon. In the meanwhile, I'm pretty sure you can write those glorious poems of yours on that 15-year-old (wow) computer. Or do you write long-hand, I wonder . . .

Ruth said...

Ah, Arti, that was awfully nice of you. Thank you for reading, listening, and for your expression of enjoyment. I'm glad you liked it.

Ruth said...

Boots, oh how wonderful you are. Thank you, my dear.

Ruth said...

Hello, Claudia! Welcome back, I missed you a lot. Save me any port cake from the birthday? :)

Susan said...

Beautiful....I can see you soaring over us all, picking our brains for seeds of tales to tell.

Marcie said...

Beautiful!! I have no other words...

julie king said...

"if i could, i would" . . . such powerful words, ruth.

Loring Wirbel said...

Belated appreciation - love the ending. Wonderful work.

ds said...

Late (but glad, so glad) and therefore only an echo, but...WOW!!
and
you did (and you do).

Thank you.