Friday, April 8, 2011

a poem evolves....part two

Sea of Forgetfulness

The crown of all creation is lost upon earth’s blue head,
and the theatre is too large to see Ophelia’s loss.
No beauty in form inform a man incalculable cost, 
nor flowers float romantically around an open hand.
To darkened wings of ocean, from stages with no ledge,
her crooked coil in spandex suit is summoned with a cane 
to margins of decaying very slow, then very fast,
to the corner of a photograph without a frame or edge.
But she dressed not in gossamer nor a neglige of lace
floats within a honeyed moon--madness makes her kind,
she is her Lover’s scroll and we are groaning for her lines.
Rememberer, remove the seal, the ravages of time, remind 
her, neurons and arthritic bones the wrinkles on her face
one day unfurl, recall, succumb to all the ravishes of grace.

This is the poem in its current form.  I imagine it coming from a daughter standing on the shore watching her mother who suffers from Alzheimer's float in the ocean on a family vacation.  I realized that the last poem was trying to evoke a sense of loss using some vague submerged beauty trope.  I suppose there is a place for that, but there are a thousand paintings of Ophelia and not many of a woman in a nursing home forgetting her children's names.  There are a lot of reasons for that, but it also seems important to enter imaginatively into suffering that is not just generalized and romantic.  The poem is still pretty general, but I think it is moving in the right direction.  

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