Where the geese rise and depart,
heaven is murky,
for now, above earth and
as wide as my loss.
Think how loss pulls language from us until
it swallows everything,
like undiagnosed cancer,
the accumulated past—
less eye, less mouth, less heart.
We had, not much—
thin coffee, thin socks. Here you can
wait, with desire, with
for an open womb. That heart-balm
as hope. The raw
bent—a bowl of fruit
in a language I never knew . . .
without tails, crosses of ts. The autonomous dot of a
blackness answers, “There are only ifs.” All
the easy, empty space we hadn’t seen
of the heart containing everything:
a gray scarf, the stain of pomegranates
the attitude and posture of slow mercy.
And single, I listen,
breathe too much, wept, and
still long for three.
The chairs and the words, lean them,
carefully closing a wound.
Because of pills, abstinence,
that loneliness is balanced
only by echoes.
To die—gracefully—full of our own
Found in The Eyes of a Flounder by Laura Hamblin (page numbers in order of above lines): 6, 34, 43, 33, 25, 9, 58, 40, 61, 50, 55, 30, 3, 39, 42, 66, 67, 62, 8, 47, 48, 64, 37, 19, 7, 5, 38, 27, 29, 49, 28, 35, 56 and title also from page 64.
I can't tell you how beautiful this poem is. There are lines here that I believe are perfect. "We had, not much -" that line would have been excellent but you added "thin coffee, think socks". How did you come up with that? There is so much more gorgeous prose, I could almost go line by line. How did you get "there are only ifs"? Can you teach me? The last line is great especially the way you presented "full of our own" and putting "without" on a line by itself. Full of our own without, truly great. I guess you can say that I like this piece, a lot. I'm going to read it again after I post this reply.
OK, so since this one was for the contest, I couldn't say it was a "Found" poem or everyone would know it was me that wrote it. This is a found poetry form called a Cento. Basically, you take a single line from several poems and rearrange them in such a way to create a new piece of poetry. I am glad you appreciate the beauty of each of the individual lines in the same way I did. They come from my friend and past professor's work. Her name is Laura Hamblin and she is an astonishing poet. I'll update it here with the credit shortly. I took each line from a different poem in her only published book of poetry as an homage to her. I read this the other day at a reading where several of her students and past students attended and it was well received. I still need to read it to her... we're getting together soon so I can do just that. I should have updated this sooner, thanks for the reminder!
@aziz here's an example of what I mean by mimicking... the poem in the link below was written from my own perspective, but with the same concepts as a poem called Walking Around by Neruda. If you read them side by side, you can see the resemblance, yet mine is a completely original piece.
The following users say thank you to tlhopkinson for this useful post:aziz
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