Are you aware of all that exists inside you,
waiting to be formed,
still emerging from the shell,
sheltered behind the silver rays.
You are immense, fathomless, an ocean of possibility yet to become real,
yet to breathe life
yet to come on home and smell the coffee.
My daughter, when life is waiting,
the only thing to lie between you and it has been the thinnest of veils,
a vaporous fog deceptive in its depth,
a tunnel leading only one way.
Smile now, smile strong, smile hard,
for your coming will be celebrated by everything there is,
by all which itself breathes life.
Your Burning Face
It once was a tall order to which I'd tremble inside,
Yet to this affront it seems my castle is standing strong,
Our hands forced, those on my side have united, it seems,
and our spell conjured lasts shameless and long.
The shock pervaded as you realised that I was real,
That it was your face in the wall's mirror which was burning red,
Not my reflection that you witnessed.
And as each attack was crushed under foot,
I saw my own kingdom prevail
despite your overbearing presence.
And as I rise up I see that you remain stuck,
in your muddy home. And I pity you.
While my waters run cool now and strong,
leading me to wherever I wish to go.
Today I was reading poetry, a whole collection from Shakespeare to Sharon Olds To Ezra Pound, and back again. I found this poem, and really liked it. Donald Hall is the 14th poet laureate of the US.
If he and she do not know each other, and feel confident
they will not meet again; if he avoids affectionate words;
if she has grown insensible skin under skin; if they desire
only the tribute of another’s cry; if they employ each other
as revenge on old lovers or families of entitlement and steel—
then there will be no betrayals, no letters returned unread,
no frenzy, no hurled words of permanent humiliation,
no trembling days, no vomit at midnight, no repeated
apparition of a body floating face-down at the pond’s edge.