[lit-ideas] SUNDAY POEM

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "LIT-IDEAS" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2004 18:57:11 -0500

Let's just see who's as brave as me.  I send a poem by Milosz, one that I
love, and one by myself as a challenge to it.  Come all ye, poetasters,
challenge your heroes or forever live in ignominy.

Mike Geary


by Czeslaw Milosz

It is true, our tribe is similar to the bees.
It gathers honey of wisdom, carries it, stores it in honeycombs.
I am able to roam for hours
Through the labyrinth of the main library, floor to floor.
But yesterday, looking for the words of masters and prophets
I wandered into high regions
That are visited by practically no one.
I would open a book and could decipher nothing
For letters faded and disappeared from the pages.
Woe!  I exclaimed -- so it comes to this?
Where are you, venerable ones, with your beards and wigs,
Your nights spent by a candle, griefs of your wives?
So a message saving the world is silenced forever?

At your home it was the day of making preserves.
And your dog, sleeping by the fire, would wake up,
Yawn and look at you -- as if knowing.

                * * * * * *


by Mike Geary

I don't know how wasps find their nests.
and I can't even imagine the nose maps of dogs,
or how willow roots know in dark dirt where water is.
There's an explanation for these things I know,
for nothing happens but Law allows it.

A missile rises out of the sea and sails
a thousand miles to it's target,
a sudden end to everything therein.
No mystery here.  We've a calculus for this.
All the world should be as advanced as us.

I don't know what 'knowing 'means.
Quite unexpectedly my heart races,
my breath deepens, I feel confused --
all at the sight of you.  I don't know why,
but my body must.  Mind is body shouting: "Gaude!"

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