Monday, November 26, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 27 - The Fairy Glen

Here's a real trip down memory lane. Believe it or not, I wrote this when I was 13. Obviously, I was channeling my inner Victorian poet.

The Fairy Glen

As I was walking down the lane,
Streams of sunlight rare

Because the trees had formed a veil,
Shadowing the country trail,
My head empty of care,
My heart empty of pain,

I chanced to find among the grass
An old an tarnished ring.
I rubbed it clean and saw inscribed
Something written by one which'd imbibed
Too much of an intoxicating thing.
It didn't make sense to me; alas!

However, as I stood beneath
The ancient limbs of a giant oak,
There happened to me a curious thing.
I spoke the words on the little ring,
Its meaning quite clear as soon as I spoke.
Magic hung over me like a wreath,

Colors of red and purple and green
Twining around me in an eerie dance.
The tingling of bells greeted my ears,
Calming my wild and anxious fears.
I opened my eyes; in a single glance
I beheld a thing I'd ne'er before seen.

Brownies and fairies, pixies, too,
Stood in a ring around me, so;
Bewildered, I stared, my thoughts awhirl -
How could this happen to an ordin'ry girl?
I guess my thoughts my face did show -
A pixie, clad in shades of blue

Stepped forward, grinning from ear to ear.
Stretching out a friendly hand,
He welcomed me to the circle, thus;
Everyone made a royal fuss
As if I were something really grand.
I looked at the ring that had brought me here.

It shone with golden beauty bright.
Transfixed, I held it in my palm,
My eyes, from it, I could not tear.
A voice spoke from I knew not where.
It said, its tone so soft and calm,
"Home do you wish to return tonight?

Or would you rather stay among
Us fairy folk in this magic glen?"
I asked, "I cannot return again?
Can't I go home and visit when
I wish to?" The pixie shook his head. "Then
It's home to stay that I do long."

The blue-clad pixie nodded slow,
His eyes understanding.
When night encased the fairy glen,
Closing day's petals upon the stem,
The pixies and fairies and brownies standing,
Uneven, row by row,

I took a last look and said my goodbyes,
Feeling my tears well up.
Through a misty haze which blurred everything,
I read the words on the magic ring.
Then I was doused in the color cup,
The tingling of bells and the small fireflies,

Made of the sparks that swirled to and fro,
Taking me from the fairy-ring there.
The colors disappeared, and in their place
The lane uncovered its friendly face.
If it weren't for the ring which I did wear,
That the fairies were real I couldn't know.

The ring again dirty, the sun still a-shine,
I didn't know even if I were real.
Home I went and found time had not passed.
Had I dreamt the bit of the fairy blast?
I only knew what was mine to feel:
My adventure, if true, had been one divine.

Copyright 1978 Julia Smith

Monday, November 5, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 24 - A Donna Poem

I enjoyed a wonderful trip to Toronto a few weeks ago, when I was so happy to spend an afternoon with my friend Donna. We share November birthdays, and since I'm just back from a family dinner celebrating the six November birthdays on my side of the family, I'm also thinking of Toronto November birthday people.

When I first moved to Toronto in 1986, I was 21 years old and very lucky to be hired by Donna to be her daughter's nanny. I lived with them for two really special years. Here's a poem I wrote for her just after I turned 22.

A Donna Poem

Your lashes drift awake
Your eyes see a different view

Not the red of your mother's womb
Exploding into the anticeptic green
The latex palm in which you were cupped
The cheesy residue of your old life
Erased as gently as those who have forgotten
Can manage

First impressions
A blessing
That newborns are half blind
In that way
Every mother is beautiful
Her smile wide
Words a tonal haze
Floating past the insular life
Of hunger, confusion, sleep-escape

This date looms out from the year
The anniversary of your entry
The letters, numbers have no bearing for the rest of us
They were your co-ordinates
You chose midnight
Riding the cusp between days
You knew even then
Essential freedom
Would be immeasurable

This day finds you
The former channel
Your own daughter sleeps downstairs
Her crib housing her thoughts
Her emergence spun you around
One destiny fulfilled
Leaving you open
How many more before you

What you understand today
Took years of interpretation
Each survived second
Unrecognized victory
You scan the molecules
Swimming transparent
Unlike the murk of past practical jokes

You've learned that a greased pig is hopeless
The days ahead have their own plan

Why not lay in bed
This time to yourself
It really is yours
People will sing you that song
While every nerve is attuned
The earth vibrates with your frequency

It's your day

Copyright Julia Smith 1986