Wednesday, May 4, 2011

on the usefulness of poetry


Poems’ splendor are like the stars’ 
One of many is close and hot and helpful 
for tanning or photosynthesis, 
a sonnet to impress the girl,
a wasteland to define a generation.
Others are pretty, less famous or
accessible but nevertheless
useful for nautical 
navigation if you learn how
to read the signs, a foot, a dipper, 
a metaphor, a kindred thought on Loss.
To find some you must go far 
out of your way, an observatory, a picture 
book at the library, a locked diary
decorated with kittens and broken hearts
beneath a mattress--these stars will never 
cause or cure cancer but they burn 
just the same and just as bright.
And some are thousands of light 
years away and no one will ever see them.

A beauty unto itself, birthing blazing
dying in splendor for the pleasure of being 
lovely, dancing alone in the dark living room 
of the universe or in the mind of a man 
moments before the bullet enters 
his half-crazed brain, 

perhaps a prayer for peace?

3 comments:

corruscations said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alice said...

I love this poem.

MacLeaney said...

"dancing in the living room of the universe..." -i love that.