Thursday, August 31, 2006

Poem/Response Poem

About a year ago Arlene Ang dropped this poem into my comments as a surprise. Arlene is the former editor of the Italian edition of Niederngasse, as well as a wonderful poet and human being. Arelene, I hope you don't mind if I print this again. It still moves me so deeply when I read it.

On Waking with a Different Woman
for Pris

Imagine the morning:
that lost bracelet around
my wrist, sun filtered by organdy
curtains, tinnitis and sore
throat like distant sea
in a conch shell.

The bed is peeled of its
worn look, Schumann's concerti
softly thread through air,
my voice is back. Daffodils
in a crystal vase remind
me of yesterday:

the ten-speed bike,
propped against a rusted
steel cabinet, its tires unchanged
from the day I pedalled
across town for
breakfast at Janelle's.

The garage smelled
of fresh paint; I moved freely like
the top that spun only from
other people's hands. Giotto's
Lazarus on the wall
didn't make the room turn.

Imagine old friends
coming over for a barbecue
and I call everyone
by name. Sometimes it's so real
I taste their favorite drinks
on my tongue.

Arlene Ang 2005


Photographs of daffodils
flood my bedroom wall.
Yellow shades to pink
in the fading sun.

He brought me daffodils once.
I didn't hold his arm for
balance then. My top spun
too fast to topple.

Our days dance in circles now;
orbits rarely intersect.
Silence has become my ally.
My enemy, too.

Imagine...friends lift me
to my bike again, gears
oiled, tires repaired.
The ocean draws back
from my breeze.
Sea shells tumble.

Awake, salt still stains my cheeks.
My bracelet jangles with the
morning blue jay's song.

I think I will name him Schumann.

Pris Campbell 2005


Pat Paulk said...

Excellent poems and enjoyed reading both again!!

Pris said...

Thanks, Pat.