alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poem: What and where I was a few nights ago

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What and where I was a few nights ago

I wasn't a star.
Not a rain cloud.
Or a rose.
I was not the barn, or a bird flying out its chink.
The reflected sky-silk on the pavement
was thicker than a hundred of me—
not even an opal fingernail.
A pile of mountains
on a weave of snowmelt
in an ocean of red planets
brushed across the eyelid of air
like a fox
and twitched its tail.
I was a minute that couldn’t.
I couldn't touch the bud at the tip
of next spring’s twig-tongue.

I was no thing. No word. No body.
The air said: We are invisible.

And then there was
no where we weren't.

Poetry should be heard.


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47 comments:

elizabeth said...

A transcendent moment I think.
I loved this.

missing moments said...

Beautiful .... love that image and words. Surrounded with nothing and yet everything!

Maureen said...

Lovely images, and so lyrically written. Your images complement your words beautifully.

erin said...

I was a minute that couldn’t. i wonder how many of us know this, how many of us dare to know this. this is gorgeous, ruth. it is a gentle cat 'o nine tails, we are invisible. yet the glory of this nothingness results in our being everywhere, our being energy unbound. the unexpected like a fox imagery is painfully beautiful, the merge of this and that.

i love this poem, ruth. we should all love this poem in a way that takes us beyond language.

xo
erin

Grandmother said...

How do words take us out of language and into the transcendent? Like this. Wonder-full.

Gwen Buchanan said...

It is plain to see, you were in Heaven!

C.M. Jackson said...

beautiful photos and words create moments of wonder and joy...

Louise Gallagher said...

The beauty of your photos
the rhythm of your words
the soul of your eyes
seeing
the wonder all around
bringing it back to earth
for us to see.

Awesome.

Oliag said...

These photos are poems in and of themselves! Beautiful is not strong enough:)

"I was a minute that couldn't" Love it! I need to read more Rumi...haven't been since your daily Rumi site ended:(

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

A perfect moment ladled up from the well where language is born but words can only recall in dreams and not describe. The only thing missing is your voice! Hope you podcast it.

Friko said...

I know the feeling well - dissolution into nothing and everything.

You said it so well.

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

the poet may be nothing or even a single point but has all the feeling in the world.

Lovely poetry, Ruth!

oa.s

California Girl said...

What erin said...

no really, this is thought provoking. She says it well after you say it perfectly.

who said...

and you didn't forget to never not tock, including writing without the ticking which is also talking. Seeing past the darkness as if it were only the brief passing of the shadow of a king who roams all realms.

Little straight pieces of wholy curved rainbows that form a ring, encircling both hemispheres. Same as the sun's raise are always beamed to a part of the earth's ear so that we can always hear the rainbows. The little straight pieces of lightened, less anxious red waves can be seen, even in the twilight, if the shutters to the window of a soul are left open for distances great enough, to be equal to their relative's tall height.

In their world they'd say the weight measured in time was tall, while here we call the wait long. No matter how relatively quick the quickening may actually be.

Your poem was magical. Just like your camera was when it captured a piece of a midnight rainbow. They're hard enough just to see, let alone catch a glimpse, of a rainbow limping it's way through the night. And in the light of day, those little pieces are much too quick to catch alone and impossible to separate one color from the other six of The Holy Rainbow.

I like the way your poem seems to convey the a rainbow exists as a full-circle, even though we only see half of it in the semi-circle of this life.

Mark Kerstetter said...

Lovely conjunction of photos with poem. That sky-silk is so palpable. If only such moments could be prolonged!

Pauline said...

it was as though you were dispersed...

lovely word and photographic images

Pat said...

The photos - the poem - just magical!

George said...

From one small epiphany — one that might have been ineffable in the absence of your beautiful poem — come a thousand questions that haunt the remainder of our lives. How can we be so moved by that which is no thing, no word, no body, and then return to peaceful acceptance of a world made of things, words, and bodies? In Doris Grumbach's remembrance, "The Presence of Absence," she speaks of a mystical experience that she had as a young woman and spent a lifetime trying to understand, if not replicate, all to no avail.

Babs-beetle said...

You know that poetry isn't one of my strengths, but the photos are beautiful :)

JeannetteLS said...

A worded response just doesn't do it. I cannot add to the words given. I read it aloud and the tears were at the surface as I smiled. And sighed. I am not sure any poem could hit home more. Thank you so much. I think I must end my day here.

amy@ Souldipper said...

A glimpse of the infinite All There Is in all its connectedness. You tackle big, Ruth, and present it with such dignity.

Ruth said...

Elizabeth, rare and resplendent. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Reena, these must be certain moments when we know the nothing and everything in perfect balance. Glimpses.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Maureen, the images, being in that scene, was the meditation for these words, trying to find words.

Ruth said...

Thank you, erin.

I am interested in this of myself: I long for transcendent moments (I don't dwell on this longing, I just know it's there), and in their rare arrivals, I want to share them. I want someone's hand to hold, someone to hear me gasp, and me to hear them gasp, to see it in each other's eyes. But if alone, then comes the trying to describe it. It's not possible of course in full, but when someone hears something of that moment, the loop has been closed.

Ruth said...

Mary, I'm glad you felt something of what I felt the other night. Thank you for submitting to it here.

Ruth said...

Gwen, well yes, I see you must be right! Thank you, my friend.

Ruth said...

Thanks, C.M.. What can you do in moments like this, of such beauty, except be silent?

(Then try to describe it later.)

Ruth said...

Thank you, Louise. I did not saturate the photos at all. I did adjust the tone a bit to make the gray more realistic. But as you know, seeing photos, and being in the air, there, are not the same thing. Nor are words describing it. But I'm grateful something of it flew through a chink.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Oliag. You know, I was just there, I just clicked. I was driving home one Wednesday night after meeting Inge for supper. The sun was setting on the right (I turned off on the road in the pic to shoot it straight on), and the sun pillar was pointing to the moon across the road on my left. Everything was still.

Did you know, this Friday (Sept. 30) is Rumi's 804th birthday. I'll be posting a small something. But it's this holiday I've been celebrating in meditation.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, you are exactly right, that words are paltry conveyors of moments like this, and even I myself can't remember it fully. Thanks for asking for a recording, which I've added.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Friko. I think it's perfect balance when nothing and everything feels full this way. Wholeness.

Ruth said...

Obrigada, OA.S. If I can disappear, maybe the other's beauty can be revealed.

Ruth said...

Thank you, California Girl. It would be beautiful to gather all our dream-like descriptions of moments like this, and read them to one another.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Dusty. I so love that shadow of a king image you evoke. It's easy to see why myth-makers of old created stories to explain phenomena like this in the sky, in the earth. For us now, myths provide beauty, meaning and even comfort. Imagining all the beautiful life inside such colors, patterns, textures and movement is the work of poems, and your comment is a poem.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Mark. Yes. And I wonder if we could stand it?

Ruth said...

Thanks, Pauline, yes, dispersed and dissolved.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Pat, it was one of those stunning times of being knocked out by beauty.

Ruth said...

George, I remember you mentioning Grumbach's book and concept a few days ago at the Rilke blog, in the post "Like Islands" and being intrigued, because I so appreciate empty space. Based on your comments about it, and on the opening quote from the book (on google books), I have ordered a copy:

The truth is that every sheet of blank paper by its very emptiness affirms that nothing is as beautiful as what does not exist. . . .

I don't think there is a poet who can resist the beauty of a blank sheet of white paper. Thanks, George.

Ruth said...

Babs, thank you for "reading" the photos. :-)

Ruth said...

Ah thank you, Jeannette. Emptiness and fullness, nothing and everything, tears and a smile—these are wholeness.

Ruth said...

Amy, thank you for that. Yes, it's respect, isn't it? Respect for everything, everyone, even respect for nothing.

Peter said...

Wow, two of your best photos yet mom.

Jeanie said...

Is that a sundog in your photo? It is simply stunning. How fortunate you were to see one.

Loring Wirbel said...

Hey wait! This says "Poetry should be heard" and doesn't have a podcast link! I guess I can only imagine. But what a wonderful poem.

ds said...

Stunned clean away. And yet, there.
I fell into the pictures with you.
"I was a minute that couldn't."
Yes. Thank you.

Miss Jane said...

:)