Monday, August 30, 2010

Burying the Name

Burying the Name

My name is somewhere
between my hand and my heart.
My name means nothing 
because of where
it comes from,  no familiar
place to find comfort in.

The world echoes 
into nothing but is something.
A world with no recognition
of color, no classification
of death, and streets filled
with people I have forgotten.

I dream up poems thick
as mayonnaise.  Cross my 
heart and hope no one dies 
before they hear the words
I meant to say.

Talking out loud to no one
does not constitute a cleansing
of one's conscience.  I have
relegated the dead into particles
of matter because the dead
were the ones who mattered most.

All these things left 
undone, with no place
to grieve.  Burying
my name was the easiest part.

- Andrea Beltran

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Taking Root

The seed was planted long ago, but was not harvested.  A love for life, for words, for the art that is poetry which is fed from the poetry that is life...I am just now recognizing the need for water and light and am holding fast to a prayer for growth.

In his Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, "...have patience with everything that is unsolved in your heart and try to cherish the questions themselves..."  There is much that remains unsolved in my heart, and it is through reading and writing that I feel free to embrace the questions and explore their possible answers, if there really are any definite answers to anything.  Questions are branches in my life, all reaching up toward the infinite sky, and if I should touch but one star, I will be happy.

A poem for today written by Jack Myers, a man whom I deeply admired and who taught me more than he would ever know:

On Nights Like This

On nights like this I'm happy
simply being still.
It's a small happiness
like my mother's hand
brushing back my hair.
Even a child's peace of mind
can seem enormous.

When I was a boy I loved to stare
into the velvet-lined cases
of accordions and guitars.
Something that contains music
feels deeper than music,
darker than all the instruments
I threw away.

That left my by myself
wishing the wind would tear
layer after layer of me
into someone's direction.  And I admit once
I tried to throw myself away.

But tonight I'm finding it
in my heart to forgive myself.
God knows why.
I lift the darkness, step inside,
and imagine the sun
hour after hour
slowly brush across the sky
until it's empty.

It's such a small happiness,
so much has passed,
I hold both hands.