“Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.” ~ T. S. Eliot

This one is mine. Apparently, I cannot add an mp3 unless I buy the upgrade. Sorry. If you want to hear my reading, click on the link below. Thanks.

INAUGURAL POETRY CHALLENGE FINALIST

Heart’s Importunate Hunger

What you asked:

         What do you love? 

What I answered:

Moonlight on dark water,
the salty spray of the ocean on my cheeks,
fierce lightning and thunder and
the sonorous sound of the surf
Solitary walks in the summer rain
Overgrown woodland paths and
the earthy scent of fallen leaves and loam
Boxes of old photographs and cards,
dried lavender and rosemary for remembrance,
Bundles of faded letters from old lovers
and glossy images of country cottages
surrounded by wild vines of wisteria and Carolina jasmine
Mozart or Beethoven or Chopin’s etudes,
as the soundtrack to Sunday morning
with cups of strong hot tea
and French bread with butter

            More? 

So much more, yes, cathexis,
yearnings—imaginary and real—
contradictions, assembled, converging—
of what has made me:
The feel of paper beneath my fingers
as I turn the pages, and all of the words
of all the sages who ever lived—
Shakespeare and Tennyson,
Fitzgerald and Anaïs Nin 
Virginia Woolf and the rocks in her pockets
That certain smell just before the first winter snow,
the vapors from a horse’s nostrils on a winter morning
The trumpet of a train that cleaves the night
and torch songs that speak of unrequited longing

            What do you want? 

To fly like the red-winged blackbird,
leaving a narrow flash of crimson in my wake
and to bathe in the Castalian Spring
beneath a beggar’s moon
To sit by the shore in the gloaming
as grey mist descends, cloaking everything
except the plaintive refrain of a fog horn
echoing off the bay

           What do you need?

Truth before a lie
Poesy and prayer, unattainable grace,
solitude and silence, 
unfettered passion and
shameless tears of love and hate
The courage to stray
from what is known, what is certain
and enough faith to abide—
never to become
destiny’s unwitting victim or fate’s fool—
and the constancy to embrace
this confluence of unfulfilled longings.
These things I covet,
—crave as my own             
before the days run down
like a forgotten watch in a drawer.
These things I prefer.

Poem written and read by www.frenzyandlightning.tumblr.com

Photograph “White Moon on Black Water” and its rendering also by www.frenzyandlightning.tumblr.com

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