Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Back to Poetry

Ruth Daigon

reversing the flow
back through the looking glass
up from the rabbit hole
in from out there.

into the stunned silence
of snow, a gray quiet
a stripping clean to the roots
and our breath making perfect circles.

to Main Street
with summer twilight
spreading like fire in dry grass,
the soft susurrus of a slow leak in the day.

My hands
stretching like antennae
now in this street now in that.

to wrap that child's universe
around me once again
and warm this woman's frame.

(Satchel Paige)

A door in a sudden garden swings open
and everything comes back.

Ma's wheedling: C'mon Cookie.
Smile for the camera.
Sing a song.

The rock I'm standing on,
The sun bouncing off my Buster Brown,
I sing and Mr. Shucket
hands me a dollar.

Pa, just up from the city,
crouches in the lake
washing his arms past
his carpenter tan.
Then, swimming with eyes shut,
he splashes everyone.

Friday, I can hardly wait for Friday.
Every other day's like
jumping up and down
on one foot in the same spot
but Friday pa arrives from the city.
Friday the butcher come to kill chickens.

Stay in front, ma yells
from the back but I crawl
through dirt underneath the house
to watch the headless chickens dance.

I spin like them,
flop in the grass,
split a blade down the middle,
whistle through it
and the sun spills its miracles on me.

If I never learned to count,
I'd be back in that feathered time
with nothing to forget,
nothing to recall,
starting all over again.

Ruth Daigon spent most of her life in the extreme climate of Winnipeg, Toronto, New York and Connecticut where her primary activity was singing as a Columbia Recording Artist, guest artist on CBS's Camera Three, soloist with the New York Pro Musica and in concert and recital appearances. When she sang at Dylan Thomas' funeral, she never dreamed that poetry would take over your life. Her collaboration with W.H. Auden to record Renaissance poetry and music for Columbia Records also gave no hint of what was to come--editing Poets On: for 20 years, contributing to major poetry journals and winning national awards like "The Eve of St. Agnes Award" (Negative Capability). Her latest poetry collection, Handfuls of Time, has just been published by Small Poetry Press. Her previous book, Payday at the Triangle, was published by Small Poetry Press.


Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Ruth was Blue Fifth Review's first featured poet -- first issue.

Nick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick said...

I quite like this passage from, "In My Body of Skin":

In my body of skin of moss of clover
I touch fingers with fingers
lips with lips
the exposed tip of the heart