EPIC Poetry Group: Poet’s Corner — Distances, Ah Liberty, Deciding Bones

Here is the latest installment of Poet’s Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group.

DISTANCES

Distance I

Five antelope, a clearing–
Onrushing express–
Hard to escape the dashing.

Distance II

No Godot yet . . .
Like waiting for justice . . .
Still no Godot . . .

Distance III

My nose ends, yours begins.
Both respecting,
start with common ground now.

Irene Myers

~ ~ ~ ~

In honor of Emma Lazarus, born July 22, 1849, author of “The New Colossus”, the poem
that appears on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty

Ah, Liberty —

Lady, do we shout for joy for grief immense

endings beginnings enshrined at your feet,

legacies lost futures found,

wrongs exchanged for rights.

Lady, do we stumble.

Your heart breaks again again.

Our manifest destiny manifest at cost of bleeding justice.

Mountains of vaunting privilege, vast prairies of promise wasting —

now, ocean-to-rising-ocean rejecting betrayal of home sweet home.

Lady, your lamp —

do we lift it together

over Earth’s revolutions under Sun’s urgent vigil.

Democracy not for sale, game or grave,

do we make new creed from daily grist,

waking up when it matters

most

sovereign, all.

Irene Myers

~ ~ ~ ~

February 2020 Deciding Bones

I am reading a poem where the poet’s wife is spooning her mother’s ashes from a metal box
into a beloved old blue cookie jar.
Mom had made the winking request and the poet imagines mom and daughter giggling now.

So wait. You can do that? It’s not final, that decision?
Once again a poet makes the unspeakable speakable.

A poet sage said letting go, letting go of those bones,
when it is time,
is one of the few essential learnings for us who live in this world.
She said this from inside my head.
She had been living there unannounced until the time
when it was time.

This is not what I am thinking about when I call my friend, dear Carlo.
I call to wish him a happy birthday today.
From my living room, Pacific Time. And as he speaks to me
en route to a new grocery store in snowy Mountain Time, his true love driving,
I notice that I have also called him so that he can tell me yes
go to Florence for those two weeks in June yes go yes it will cost too much yes I know
you don’t have time to study Italian (you can speak German there) or time to take a
first art class no it doesn’t quite fit with what your life is most about right now.
I wouldn’t let my head decide if I were you. Sometimes
you can be like that
yes but
if you don’t go What then? he urges, direct, warm,
from his new life.

Irene Myers

~ ~ ~ ~

Irene Myers, long-time resident of Seattle, now Edmonds, is a career and life coach by vocation, a fiddler of traditional Swedish music by avocation, and a poet by gravitation. In her writing, published and unpublished, she is intrigued by what is waiting to be named.

 

  1. I love these poems, particularly the third one, which asks the essential question, “if you don’t go What then? ” It’s an age-old question about whether to maintain the status quo or to take a step into new worlds where you know you will be forever changed.

  2. Many of are asking this question “If you don’t…what them?
    So timely as is Lady Liberty. If we don’t fight for democracy what then?

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