Monday, February 28, 2011

Indigenous Dialogues


With thanks to Zaina Anwar for sharing a wonderful photograph
and so many other inspiring poems, thoughts, and images.

And here is where the world began,
in cooling shade, in moss and fronds.

The worn out shoes, a mystery.
Some say God’s, but I have my doubts.

It seems they’ve been here all along,
pigeon-toed, size twelve, rained to pulp
in two fine leather faces.

No one dies when my mother cries,
but I dress well all the same, just in case,
and follow suit upon my knees
to please each seed
that sprouts.

An insect is a sign of truth.
I hear it sing, I hear it shout.


Library Notes: Added my grandmother’s 1946 edition of Gibran’s Jesus the Son of Man. Added editor, introduction, and illustration credits to The Complete Poems of Hart Crane under Other authors.

Updates:
“Indigenous Dialogues” added to Poems, Slightly Used.
In the Forum: cosmopolitan hysterical unfairness.

7 comments:

♥Jan♥ said...

The photo. The poem. The art. All of these leave me breathless~~~

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Jan, and I’m glad you clicked through to Zaina’s pages....

Kiki said...

A beautiful poem.....
left me with a feeling of connection and a need to be surrounded.

erin said...

Damn. I keep reading your title disingenuous dialogues and that is so far from the truth of this! Frig, William, this might be the best poem ever written. everevereverever, as though in saying it like that, the poem might span time and fan out all of the others begging to come to life. they can't. this one has all the breath.

wow.

i am more sad with this, "No one dies when my mother cries,
but I dress well all the same, just in case", than if someone had actually died.

oh my. breathless. it takes even my breath. everevereverever~

(but with great thanks i know you know i know that all poems sneak breath, find ways to live.)

xo
erin

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Kiki. The feeling is a good one — especially since we are surrounded....

Erin? Is that you? I don’t think you’ve ever used a capital letter here. And Damn no less. We know, of course, that there’s no such thing as the greatest poem ever written, unless it’s this crazy universe itself and the countless others it enfolds. It’s enough for me that it means what it does (the depth and movement of which I will never know) to you, now. And that’s the miracle of our exchange, and the way the poem arrived, and wherever it might go from here. Did I say thank you? Certainly, by now, that must be understood.

Zaina Anwar said...

Awwww, William, I am excited to know that the image I posted inspired you to write this wonderful poem. I did not know you were visiting my tumblr blog!

William Michaelian said...

Oh, yes, I have been regularly for quite some time now, and links to both of your Indigenous blogs are in the “Reading Room.” The only thing now is, you’re posting so often I can hardly keep up with you. But I do enjoy trying. Yours is a wonderful poetic window to the world.