Sunday, May 27, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 3 - Skewed Landscapes

I thought this one was in keeping with the American Memorial Day weekend. Though I found myself wondering, why does the US have Memorial Day when they also celebrate Remembrance Day on Nov. 11th?

At any rate, here is a poem I wrote in 1994 while I was in university.

Skewed Landscapes

As Darwin's hairy men
Turned and strode from
Adam's gentle brow
Begloved matrons
Swooned in their seats
Overcome by Stravinsky's dissonance

A democracy of junk
Ripened into collaged provinces
Turner's spectral train
Retreated to Romantic gloom

Europe turned to mud
Its watery trenches
Inheriting the fallen

Big Bertha spewed hard death
At the Somme
Gallant bayonets faltered
As noxious clouds robbed the
Divisions of their glory

Braque's Portuguese man
While Picasso's Harlequin
Shouldered his sliced violin
Digressing into the angular fragments
Of a modern age

Copyright 1994 - Julia Smith

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 2 - The Poem of You

Here's a reworked poem that first drew breath in 1981, but which I edited this morning.

The Poem of You

I feel a poem starting in me

Silken spider trappings
Fall gently in my breast
At your soft breath

Music fine and clean
Shepherd minding flocks
Stretching sky holding my world
Wide as life
Your voice tinged with morning haze
Settles itself about my tingling skin

The darkened depths
The coves and eddies
Teeming in your eyes
The secret hiss of foam
I dive and lose myself
Among the folds and swirls
Of water worlds uncharted
Ringed by stones
Alight with salt and age
Your gaze promises
The endlessness of sea

I float on the kiss
Your touch brings fanfares
Banners flying long and true
My willingness
To step outside this moment
Trampled under hooves that tear up ground

Your sighs fell the flimsy forest
Rays of warmth break through
Slanting rays shine on fern and moss
The untread ground
The magic wood
Of me

Voices whisper
Unseen hands guide my pen
Words flow over
The imagery of you

The poem of you
Dazes and stands ready

Copyright 2007 Julia Smith

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hopping Aboard the Poetry Train - 1

Well, it was bound to happen. Let me dust the notebooks off and see what I can dig up.

Oh, here we go. Something I did for my grandparents' 45th wedding anniversary, the year after I graduated high school (24 years ago!) This is the grandma I live with, who plays piano and had the fiddler and guitarist come over for a kitchen party a few weeks ago.

My grandfather was a portrait photographer, oil painter of landscapes and Cheticamp rug hooker.

The Artisans

Time fashions its pearls
Beneath crusted grey shells
The milky white salve
Lifting sand from the tender flesh
A simple act of survival
Creating precious jewels
To be opened
Strung together
And displayed
A wonder of time preserved

Spears of light pierce the trees
Penetrating the transparent pane
Of transformed sand
The grains quickened to molten elixir
And frozen in a thin sheet
Looking in on two
Who greet the day
As two living pearls
Their time together, creating treasures
From the grains of the world

Two hands that clasped on a morning
Two faces that turned to a future
Overlooking a sea
They jumped into without answers
Waters that raged
Inlets becalmed

Two pearls who emerge from the ocean of time
To see with the eyes of that morning
The wonderful ripples their plunge could create
To feel the remarkable pulse
Of those whose existence
Began first with them
With the smiles they gave each other
With the echoes they felt
When they first looked in each others' eyes

Days spent
Time shared
Lives fashioned
From the grains of the world

Copyright,1983 Julia Smith