February 03, 2006

Friday Poetry Blogging

Here is a poem by Paula Gunn Allen, taken from a wonderful anthology called That's What She Said, edited by Rayna Green.

Kopis'taya

(A Gathering of Spirits)


Because we live in the browning season
the heavy air blocking our breath,
and in this time when living
is only survival, we doubt the voices
that come shadowed on the air,
that weave within our brains
certain thoughts, a motion that is soft,
imperceptible, a twilight rain,
soft feather's fall, a small body
dropping into its nest, rustling, murmuring,
settling in for the night.

Because we live in the hardedged season,
where the plastic brittle and gleaming shines
and in this space that is cornered and angled,
we do not notice wet, moist, the significant
drops falling in perfect spheres
that are certain measures of our minds;
almost invisible, those tears,
soft as dew, fragile, that cling to leaves,
petals, roots, gentle and sure,
every morning.

We are the women of the daylight; of clocks and steel
foundries, of drugstores and streetlights,
of superhighways that slice our days in two
Wrapped around in glass and steel we ride
our lives; behind dark glasses we hide our eyes,
our thoughts, shaded, seem obscure, smoke
fills our minds, whisky husks our songs,
polyester cuts our bodies from our breath,
our feet from welcoming stones of earth.
Our dreams are pale memories of themselves,
and nagging doubt is the false measure of our days.

Even so, the spirit voices are singing,
their thoughts are dancing in the dirty air.
Their feet though the cement, the asphalt
delighting, still they weave dreams upon our
shadowed skulls, if we could listen.
If we could hear.
Let's go then. Let's find them. Let's
ride the midnight, the early dawn. Feel the wind
striding through our hair. Let's dance
the dance of feathers, the dance of birds.

2 comments:

joanna said...

What a refreshing poem!

Bitty said...

I am taking this poem home to think about it some more!

First lines to jump out at me:

...in this time when living
is only survival, we doubt the voices
that come shadowed on the air

That dovetails so completely with your post on February, too. It's hard today to get past the nagging feeling that all I'm doing is surviving. This poem is encouraging.