magnolia teacups, a poem

the night sky
Held me sleepless and spellbound
as Friday passed into Saturday and our
pine drew down an inkling of early sun.
Shyly the clouds begin to peak at me
and the landscape is faint with magnolia,
their blooms like a gathering of teacups.

Farmers are headed here – from countryside
to town – a parking lot reserved and ready
for their industry and table-loads of greens,
strawberries and a riot of cultivated flowers.
The crows dominate the morning gossip and
count on it, they’ll be at farmers’ market too.

For now, somewhere between lauds and prime,
silent starlight gives way to sunlight and bustle
and so begins the execrations and benedictions
of the day, a clamouring of souls unleashed on
this naked city, rubbing the sleep from its eyes,
intoxicated with the sight of magnolia teacups.

© 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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