Last Friday evening, I got to attend the poetry reading given by the luminous Jane Hirshfield at an episcopal chapel in Virginia Beach. It was raining cats and dogs and I have been suffering from head congestion and allergies but listening to her read her poems was just the thing for me. It was, quite simply, an expansive, generous, and beautiful reading.
At this juncture in my life, I am living many difficult questions, many of them having to do with seeming repetitions and recurrences, that particular sense of how they exert such a charismatic influence. I want to break free of some of these painful patterns, I want to understand why I suffer in the ways that I do; and I want to know especially what I can do to ease the suffering of those that I love so very much.
I am no buddhist (though I am very attracted to buddhist literature, poetry, and art). But perhaps what I do in my own continuing study and practice of writing poetry, sometimes brings me a little tiny hope that there are things I can see a little more clearly than I did before. Sometimes.
Today, coming in the back gate near twilight, this is the sight that greeted me-- the flowerbeds bursting again with mint and verbena.
I thought they had all died in winter. But here they are again in all their fragrance.
Just like the white-throated sparrow and the budding red maple that Dave Bonta described earlier today on The Morning Porch--
-- so then here is the poem I wrote in response, "Villanelle of the Red Maple".
I hope you will visit my author website and blog, and throw your name into the hat for the Great Poetry Giveaway I am doing there for this year's National Poetry Month (April 2011).