Saturday, September 19, 2015

Poem for An Early Autumn Morning (6WS)





THE NAMES OF STONES

I have forgotten the names of stones
and clouds, the better to admire color and form
without the burden of name
to tell me what I should be seeing.

The classifications for various sedges
and creeping vines have finally eluded me;
taxonomy can never describe the way
a particular grass tickles your skin
when you walk barelegged through a field,
or the delicate arching of seed heads
heavy and ripe along the side of a shady path.

Nor am I now able to recall 
the fifty words for snow
or sixteen words for water;
knowing the subtle differences between ivies
is less important than it was,
and while I hunt for the name
of that strange red bird
it has grown weary of posing,
and flown back to the nameless tree
in the unnamed wood, and mocks me
with its call, for the rest of the day

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful & honest work, JT. There.

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  2. Thanks, Ron. This is from what I think of as my "Billy Collins Period" when I realized how easily I could sound like him (not as good, but the language is there), and he was added to the list of occasional reading rather than cover to cover.

    (I miss writing, but it happens, to more than a few. I always suspect most of Frost's best poems were written in his 40s and 50s and he just hauled 'em out after he got famous). Maybe when I get famous (next year, I promise) I'll do the same. =)

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  3. I have named rocks as I picked them up away from where I have to mow, but not names I can repeat here. They are rocks, not stones when I have to gather them.

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  4. I'm just delighted by the last stanza of this poem. I can see that bird, whose name you've forgotten, waiting, waiting, waiting for its name to tumble from the tip of your tongue, and when it never does, the bird finally gives up in disgust and flies away. Wonderful work!

    Beach & Broom in 6 Words & Shadows

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    Replies
    1. lol, thanks, MM; birds tend to be sooo impatient about such things. Stones (or rocks, if you prefer) are much more patient and will wait forever until it comes back to you =)

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