How Can It Help to Speak of the Heart

How can it help to speak of the heart?
Tell me about the horses
Their language of meaningful gestures
Hooves stirring the hay
At night in the dark silent barn

How can it help to speak of the world?
Tell me about the sunrise
The adorable wars of sparrows
Their street-fair circus reunions
Vise-like grip in the thunderstorm

How can it help to speak of the truth?
Tell me about the river
through forest, plain, and desert
to the salty mouth of the sea
over the silty tongues of giants

How can it help to speak of love?
Tell me about the garden
Blooms that nod or stretch or crawl
Arrived for the attention of sunshine
Stoic or showy, brave or discreet
In the brief heat of summer before the rain

How can it help to speak anymore?
Tell me about your drawing
A monster, a building, a hand-holding child
My head is a hostel for metaphors
And faithless memories, like as like not

So a bird is a baby, a touch is a star
Bits of the whole are ciphers for all
Arrayed in a brilliant expanding web
Connecting the beginning with what
Has no end

©2017 Patti Witten
photo / Patti Witten

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Recent Poems: My Snapshot Life, and remember when…

miniature camera

I’ve been participating in a writing circle with Zee Zahava. She kindly posted one of my dashed-off poems on her blog, PaintedParrott.

Read My Snapshot Life, inspired by the poem “Curriculum Vitae,” by Lisel Meuller.

 

Here is another from the workshop, from a prompt that starts, “remember when…”

Remember the fallout shelter in the basement?
Remember we thought we were getting a pool?
Remember Dad telling us no, in the living room, with the machines just outside digging up the lawn?
Remember the disappointment?
Remember the fear?
Remember the bomb?
Remember the questions about WHO would be allowed inside?
WHAT would happen above ground?
WHEN the world would end?
Remember the canned food? The cold, clammy, concrete?
The dark? The dim, buzzing electric bulbs?
Remember the generator?
Remember we were not allowed to play in there?
Remember the padlock?
Remember the life-sized poster of Frankenstein that we hung over the door?

 

© 2017 Patti Witten

photo / Patti Witten