A Whistle on the Wind, a poem

who knew …
Time was fading like a whistle on the wind,
that you wouldn’t have wealth or forever.
Who knew you had to capture short-lived youth,
relish it like the salt in a rich savory stew, dance
to the music of that age, dress in its pastels.

and who knew …
That all those years you worked at survival,
life would slip by, that holding-on was like
trying to grasp an ocean in your hands.
Suddenly, the moment had passed when you
could layer the joys of life’s spring in the basket
of your heart; now like old photo albums
you pull them out on occasion, unpacking
aspirations built on the fault lines of time.

how could you have known, my friend
That while you were busy with survival
the blue planet spun; in its ceaseless whorl,
the years passed and life changed, but now
you discover that you’ve changed too
and change comes baring its own gifts.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Khalil Gibran

© 2017, poem and photograph,Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

The recommended read for this week is Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast by Pulitzer Prize winning Megan Marshall who studied with Bishop at Harvard. This biography is richly spun,  energetic, engaging and even inspirational despite the breathtaking depth of Bishop’s losses, her sense of marginalization and her head-long push into alcoholism. Indeed, some of the inspiration comes because with all her loses, Bishop managed to hold poetry tight. Her poems were for her a charm “against the loneliness they often expressed.” The book covers Bishop’s relationships with other poets and her romantic interests, the last was for me the singular wearisome downside, much overrided though by the book’s pleasures and values. It is laced with Marshall’s own stories and together the lives of these two bare witness to the power of words to give shape, sense and meaning to life. We come away with a strong sense of Elizabeth Bishop, one of America’s most extraordinary poets. A page-turner. A must read or everyone who loves and writes poetry.

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