“The poems in Marrow of Summer are my way of appreciating, honoring, and preserving: to remember Love in all its past and present forms.”
Of Prayer Now
myself in my comforter
before sleep comes,
I lay with eyes open
in the dark. One by one
I conjure them all,
their magnanimous, smiling faces—
my queue of beloveds,
is the way of prayer now—
to remember Love in all
its past and present forms.
it just stuns you
like an arrow flung from some angel’s wing.
Sometimes it hastily scribbles
a list in the air: black coffee,
thick new books,
your pillow’s cool underside,
the quirky family you married into.
It is content with so little really;
even the ink of your pen along
the watery lines of your dimestore notebook
could be a swiftly moving prayer.
In Early Summer You Start to Understand
Keats might have meant when
he wrote of the weight in his heart
like a load of immortality,
a mingling of longing, distance
and the nearness of joy, as close
as Adam’s fingers to God’s in that immense
ceiling Keats never got to see, but surely he suspected it
in the deep hours of June with green lathering over
everything, and the tall stalks of daisies swaying so close
you can almost hear inside their yellow cores;
when the red-edged peonies
can’t help but bow under
their weight of impossible beauty.
On the watery lines of many dimestore notebooks and in the pages of faux-leatherbound journals, these poems were made. I have always been drawn to John Keats’ line, in a letter he wrote to his friend John Hamilton Reynolds in 1818: ‘There is an awful warmth about my heart like a load of Immortality.’ Such a startling and original expression seems to me to somehow hold all the abundance and lushness of summer, alongside the melancholy knowledge of its inescapable change and passing.
The poems in Marrow of Summer are my way of appreciating, honoring, and preserving: to remember Love in all its past and present forms. To remind myself that only the forms change; the love remains.