26 April 2007

National Poetry Month, Part 2

One of the suggestions for observing National Poetry Month on Poets.org, is to read a poem out loud. So, pretend you are hearing the dulcet tones of my lovely voice, reading you this poem that I have chosen.

In the Park
by Maxine Kumin

You have forty-nine days between
death and rebirth if you're a Buddhist.
Even the smallest soul could swim
the English Channel in that time
or climb, like a ten-month-old child,
every step of the Washington Monument
to travel across, up, down, over or through
--you won't know till you get there which to do.

He laid on me for a few seconds
said Roscoe Black, who lived to tell
about his skirmish with a grizzly bear
in Glacier Park. He laid on me not doing anything. I could feel his
heart beating against my heart.
Never mind lie and lay, the whole world
confuses them. For Roscoe Black you might say
all forty-nine days flew by.

I was raised on the Old Testament.
In it God talks to Moses, Noah,
Samuel, and they answer.
People confer with angels. Certain
animals converse with humans.
It's a simple world, full of crossovers.
Heaven's an airy Somewhere, and God
has a nasty temper when provoked,
but if there's a Hell, little is made of it.
No longtailed Devil, no eternal fire,
and no choosing what to come back as.

When the grizzly bear appears, he lies/lays down
on atheist and zealot. In the pitch-dark
each of us waits for him in Glacier Park.


teabird said...

"People confer with angels."


Carol said...

[begin high-pitched Monty Python voice:] Oh, look at us, with our fancy-shmancy poetry, and our met-aphors, and our existential questions!

Carol said...

Thank you for reading it to me:)

Bridget said...

Dear Carol #1,

Here's a poem you might appreciate:

When you get old and think you're sweet,
Take off your shoes and smell your feet.

Is that better? Or will you be writing an "I object" letter to the BBC???

Carol said...

There once was a man named Dave,
Who found a dead whore in a cave.
He said, "What the hell.
I can stand the smell.
Just think of the money I'll save."