Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I try to write a poem (and learn about silence)

The thing about rain

The thing about rain
is its shape: streaking window panes
in the wet cold

a pair of headlights beam back to me

a drop sails towards me on the wind
only to crash against glass, splintering itself
into one thousand small stars

the thing about rain is its sadness
quiet like the seventh month,
when the sympathy has dried up
and the people in their cold black coats
scurry along the platform home
forgetting the ache inside you

it grew roots while you weren't watching
this rain, and your love - so tender once -
is stubborn and does not bend.

the thing about rain is how it promises
holding your face in its rough hands
that even the love that aches
becomes one thousand small stars, too.


My pen crashes onto the page. I don't know how to write poems anymore, I whisper to my journal as I sit in the Public Garden on Saturday afternoon. I'm watching couples walk by, categorizing them by their shoes - a pair of Toms next to a pair of Adidas, two pairs of clogs side by side, high heels clattering and squealing next to loafers. I keep wanting a poem to appear to me. To find me sitting in the mist just after the rain, to creep up behind me and slip into my heart. I scribble down the only words I know, a prayer for writing, for the words...

The water hums, a plucked string. Lord, where did the words go? How did they leave, out the window, or that leaky hole in the ceiling of my heart? The poem and I sit next to each other, legs crossed, parallel lines. We will not speak, the poem and I, but for a moment the silence holds our selves. The bench is cold. We stare at the water, awaiting. I long to write like Mary Oliver, poems of how ducks skid to a halt in the garden, wings flapping. I want to write that here, the wind knocks at our bodies and laughs when we shiver.

I forgot how impatient I can be with writing, how unwilling I can be to open myself to the un-poetic days and weeks and seasons. I forgot how there are days when the words aren't enough, when they aren't present. I forgot that in those days the best thing is just to draw near the silence and listen.

Some days we won't have the words we long for.

Draw near the silence with me, and maybe we can help each other listen?


1 comment:

  1. oh, hilary, if it is possible to love one you have never met. . . then you i do :-) your heart, your soul--it speaks poetry, even when you do not recognize it as such. and yes, when the words just WILL NOT come in quite the way, quite the manner you want them to come. . . rest. in the quiet. in the silence. and you will find them welling up. drop by drop. until there will be a time when they will flood forth for the fullness. and we, the readers, will reap the blessing of your words that you have struggled to give birth to. hold tight. and let go. it is a rhythm. a balance. a dance. and you do it very well. don't sigh from the frustration of what feels like wrong moves. you are well and good. believe.


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