Thursday, May 09, 2013

Remembering California at the watercolor class

And thinking: poppies, poppies,poppies! Poppies on the dunes around Monterey Bay, poppies on the hillsides of the Grapevine, poppies by the road with the lupines in the Feather River Canyon.  Poppies, poppies! Poppies in the parks and in the waste places. California poppies. . .

Waiting by the Sea

This tidepool day you inhabit contains more than
you need. It stirs now and then to bring
faint news of old storms deeper than the earth.
From caves around you feelers and claws wave
their greeting, then slowly withdraw
      and wait for tomorrow.

Sunlight is alive when it swims down where you are
and you stand still, alert to take in the sun.
You become a stone, then the ghost of a stone
then the gone water's brilliant memory
      of where a stone was.

Making the day expand in your heart and return
you play a limited part in what life is,
practicing for that great gift when enlightenment
comes, that long instant when the tide
       calls your name.

From My Name Is William Tell; poems by William Stafford, Confluence Press, 1992 Page 38.

Wave back at the feelers and claws for a bit and then think about this poem. It uses regular-type sentences that begin with a capital and end with a period. It is in even stanzas, but the first stanza has one extra line. The last line of each stanza is indented. The linebreaks are not ostentatious, but break at the ends of normal chunks of syntax, except for the first line and the break between "enlightenment" and "comes" near the end of the poem.  The thought is only slightly mysterious, and not difficult to follow, if you just ride along. And it is clearly a poem, and poetic! And it makes me feel like writing a poem might not be impossible for me, also. Sleep well and dream of the slight and wavery motions of the tidepool!
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