The Rusty Toque | Issue 13 | Poetry | November 30, 2017
Homeless heart, where are you now? [J Ashbery]
So the beautiful morning is back, where everything is visible,
compartments of people glitter over the bridge, traveling
to feed themselves with longing, the lines of the mountains
are securely drawn, and we can forget there are no fish
in the exquisite river.
How can there be such anxiousness as this?
All is symbiosis and we, the interrupter.
Yes, there is consolation in the inevitable, enviable takeover of wild flower
and ivy, the winding of green over the theme parks where
Dipsy Doo the Clown hues with lichen before vanishing
into a forest of the future.
But that’s aeons away, is it not?
They who have denied science so successfully have made us content
Did we ever belong and this anger, is it a reminder of that,
a ghost in our loneliness?
How we fill our mouths with Twinkies and other myths of childhood
until our stomachs ache; then we take a pill.
When morning begins and it’s beautiful, we feel worse,
that unmatched to the loveliness, so a steer must die or a wolf;
a cedar must die or a small rare lily.
This is how we operate, homeless hearts.
And the leader of us
is a wound.
Take me back inside that time when I was warm
& fed & a liar.
O glorious love!
Forgetting about the harmony of the spheres, what
Archimedes cried, who said we are but halves of a rolling
whole in Plato’s tract, the river
grows colder, leaves hear the chlorophyll retreating.
Some days I am too tired to even speak.
And what would I say?
The day has turned on its antique notion of hope
and presents freshness.
Everything, in the homeless heart, gleams.
Who can say: a villanelle on a line by Anne Compton
Who can say how or why it all blazed away.
A woman dies twice; the first time is her beauty.
Day follows day follows day follows day.
Knowing nothing, whether good, whether bad, ever stays.
Yet the mind cannot settle into such clarity.
Who can say how or why it all blazed away
if one doesn’t admit the transience of clay,
and how does one do that in a moment so free
of day following day following day following day.
Yes, we’re speaking of love and its feelings of play.
A long childhood afternoon lost by the sea
when who can say how or why it all blazed away
and suddenly the creases, the aches and the grey
as wants become hushed and we lie about need,
day after day after day after day,
while we hope (still, we hope) and pray if we pray
until the rest of our life turns a quiet sad plea
that we learn how or why it all blazed away
as day follows day follows day follows day.
CATHERINE OWEN lives in New Westminster, BC. She is the author of 10 collections of poetry and 3 of prose including her compilation of interviews with Canadian poets called The Other 23 and a Half Hours: or Everything You Wanted to Know that your MFA didn't Teach You (Wolsak & Wynn, 2015). Her latest book of poems is Dear Ghost, (Buckrider Books, 2017). She works in film, composes Marrow Reviews, and collaborates with multimedia artists in bands and on theatrical projects.