Sunday, August 30, 2015


Usually I pick the picture first and link the poem to it somehow. 
But I was putting the Kooser away when I noticed I had marked this poem, 
so I went looking for blue. Or dawn. This Lily of the Nile is blue;
soon I will come back to its garden, but I will have missed the bloom this year.
I have always liked the way the sun strikes the dried sepal in this portrait,
making it look like a piece of wrinkled tan silk.


Freely chosen, discipline
is absolute freedom.--Ron Serino

The blue shadow of dawn settles
its awkward silks into the enamelled kitchen
and soon you will wake with me into the long
discipline of night and day--the morning sky
startled and starred with returning birds.
You half-whisper, half-sigh, "This will never stop."
And I say, "Look at the constellations
our keys and coins make, there,
on the polished sky of the dresser top."

From what sometimes seems an arbitrary
form of discipline often come two words
that rhyme and in the rhyming fully marry
the world of spoons and sheets and common birds
to another world that we have always known
where the waterfall of dawn does not drown
even the haloed gnats where we are shown
how to find and hold the pale day moon, round
and blessed in the silver lake of a coffee spoon.

Mekeel McBride

in Ted Kooser, The Poetry Home Repair Manual; practical advice for beginning poets, University of Nebraska Press, 2007, page 141.

Bonus picture; an actual blue dawn-tinted sky in Michigan!

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