Saturday, April 18, 2009

Winnowing the True

Spell for a Poet Getting On

May your hipbones never die.
May you hear the ruckus of mountains
in the Kansas of your age, and when
you go deaf, may you go wildly deaf.

May the neighbors arrive, bringing entire aviaries.
When the last of your hair is gone, may families
lovelier than you can guess colonize
the balds of your head.

May your thumbstick grow leaves.
May the nipples of your breasts drip wine.
And when, leaning into the grass, you watch
the inky sun vanish into the flat page

of the sea, may you join your lawn chair,
each of you content
that nothing is wise forever.

--Lola Haskins

I just spent a fun week-end with poet Lola Haskins, listening to readings, workshops, giving and receiving awards for local poets. Stayed for a night in the white, king-sized bed at the Airport Hilton, ate dinner and lunch, embraced a lot of old friends and made some new ones. I learned that not every line in every poem you write is from heaven, and that most poems start too soon and finish too late. Thanks, Lola, and the Utah State Poetry Society for a grand time! When I go deaf, may I go wildly deaf, content that nothing is wise forever.


Kay said...

That is one fierce poem celebrating age-ing - so of course, I love it!
Glad you had a great time - such times are precious and oh so beneficial. Reap!

Dana said...

I once said to Lola, "I just recently started writing poetry." And she replied, "That explains it."

Michelle said...

Sounds like a memorable weekend, Joyce!

I've read this before. It's wonderful.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Kay, thanks! Do you still have the map of the world you bought when you were 13? Are you glad you bought it, or do you have regrets?

Dana, Lola is a rather ethereal, otherworldly person. That explains her comment to you.

Michelle, it was fun. I like her stuff! Utah got a lot of cherry trees after WW2 as a gift from Japan. I forget just why...but the blossoms are lovely.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Dana, I wondered if you had met her. I read someplace that she taught at Pacific Luthern. I think she's in Florida now, writing a book about Florida. I'm sorry she didn't mention meeting you. I wish she had!

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Michelle -- maybe it was BEFORE WW2. I forget.


christine said...

What a great poem you've shared. It means a lot to me, since I'm rather late getting into this public poetry game. I'll need that wine and those good hips.

Sounds like a wonderful time.

Jo said...

Great poem, great ethos too.