Saturday, November 23, 2002
: . 'Mother Poet':
Ruth Stone's latest book of poems, In the Next Galaxy, was named the winner of this year's National Book Award for Poetry only a few hours after I checked it out of the library, read it, and posted a few poems from it for everyone to enjoy. Here are three more poems from the same book:
In the government offices the rules and regulations
regarding the erosion of beaches move from one file to another.
The sand whispers back into the undertow.
At the South Pole, part of the frozen continent splits
and melts, eating into the ice pack.
Along the Eastern Seaboard a house on the ocean
is liften on stilts. It walks into the water.
The piles driven deep into the sand are at last exposed,
their thin bones fragile as tiny starfish.
The windows, blank eyes of dead seagulls,
catch the phosphorescence in the choppy waves.
The waves are as even as furrows in a cornfield.
But the house is moving in the opposite direction.
How mild the evening is. No one would suppose
that the house is going out with the tide.
When you come back to me
it will be crow time
and flycatcher time,
with rising spirals of gnats
between apple trees.
Every weed will be quadrupled,
The crows, their black flapping
bodies, their long calling
toward the mountain;
relatives, like mine,
hooting and tearing.
And you will take me in
to your fractal meaningless
babble; the quick of my mouth,
the madness of my tongue.
- The Poem
Exactly at three PM
it came walking in
with blocks of wood in its arms.
I was building a table on the patio.
Could I refuse?
The wood smelled of mold,
old saw cuts, sawdust.
It began in the arteries, rushing.
Words without words.
Looking down I saw last year's leaves
in pockets and nests of humus
between the flagstones.
The warblers and thrushes sang
clear of the maggots.
it was too soon to die.
Even the old maple
that had been struck by lightning.
Then it passed by
like a cold breath.