27 December 2010

she is my am.eric.an girl

Walking from kitchen to the next room,
the voice of an angel singing softly,
I turned the corner and my heart burst
into crystalline vapor in the Christmas air

North light through the windows, opaline grey,
the flower of my heart stood, singing,
a doll in her arms, held like a sibling
and I managed not to raise hand to heart

A nursery rhyme of unknown origin, cherub smile
to melt glaciers and split stone: I did not gasp
but stood, dumbfounded, to see such grace,
fighting the lump in my throat and tremor in my lips

She holds the doll tenderly, brushes a hair from its cheek
I chew the insides of my cheeks:  Please, my girl
never forget this, never forget such care, such bliss,
someday when you found your own dynasty

She sings, my composure slips its fragile leash,
the room blurs,  I find a space she cannot see,
will not know my heart has shattered, instantly,
refired in the kiln of her innocence

Dabbing at liquid eyes, towel between clenched teeth,
I hear her say "You are so pretty, the doll I always wanted"
knees near to buckling, overwhelmed by beauty:
I resolve to live forever.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have to say, the above prose poem (is that a phrase?) is not yet the piece I wanted to write.  It is crude, unrefined, compared to that which was in my head and inspired me to write.  I want to try it again.  Writing it over might do it justice.  Then again. it might not.  This is the dilemma.  It is almost a certainty that there are no words, no matter how skilfully arranged, that could do justice to what I saw Christmas morning.  I am also glad I had no camera with me at the time; to stop and photograph that angelic countenance, in such a golden moment, seems to me to border on a minor blasphemy.  The look on her face, the softness of her voice as she sang...

If I could truly describe, dear readers, the glimpse of the divine that I was granted I think you would agree that words sometimes fall far short.  I am reminded of "High Flight",  a poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., the last line of which reads:

"...Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

That poem is about a brush with the Divine in an entirely different setting, but it comes very close to what I mean.  Perhaps that is the essence of all genuinely moving experiences in life.  Words can bring us right to the edge, but in the end, we stand mute before Beauty.

9 comments:

  1. I think your poem captured the moment beautifully Irish. The mood, the images, and the love of the father most of all. Well done.

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  2. It's beautiful just the way it is now.

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  3. What a gift to recognize the moment and just hold it in your heart.
    Peace, Grace and love..

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  4. Beautifully written, Irish. Sometimes when we rewrite, the original intensity or poignancy of our experience is lost or muted. I think because the editing process is almost a sort of cleaner or gentrification. And you're right. Sometimes no matter how hard we try to put the precise words to our emotions, they don't do enough justice to the actual feeling of being there.

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  5. Oh how I love this piece. It's honest and pure and I'm not sure this is a piece you should edit.

    I'm happy to stop by here and 'see' you are finding joy.

    Merry Christmas (a wee bit late) and may 2011 bring you radiant happiness and love.

    ~Lola

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  6. You are right, we do stand mute before beauty. This is such a beautiful image you've painted for your readers.

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  7. Hi IG - I have to side with your other readers on this one. This poem is beautiful beyond words. I'm no poet, but I don't think there's any way you can make it beautifuler. Except maybe to work in the word 'beautifuler'. :D

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  8. You can't rewrite the moment. The cry caught in my throat! What a lovely, priceless moment!
    I love that you're paying attention, that you are fully present! She is one lucky angel!

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  9. Ditto fragrant liar.
    Also, just amazing.

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"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."


-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...