Different Kinds of Happy

Saturday Morning Soul-food

This lazy Saturday morning begs for some deliciously beautiful poetry. The first is by Madeline L’Engle (one of my favorite authors) and the other, by Billy Collins, a witty poet I learned about from my best friend, Katelyn. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.

Within This Strange and Quickened Dust

O God, within this strange and quickened dust
The beating heart controls the coursing bloodIn discipline that holds in check the flood
But cannot stem corrosion and dark rust.
In flesh’s solitude I count it blest
That only you, my Lord, can see my heart
With passion’s darkness tearing it apart.
With storms of self, and tempests of unrest.
But your love breaks through blackness, bursts with
light;
We separate ourselves, but you rebind.
In Dayspring all our fragments; body, mind,
And spirit join, unite against the night.
Healed by your love, corruption and decay
Are turned, and whole, we greet the light of day.


Forgetfulness

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

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This entry was published on June 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm and is filed under Faith, Literature. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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