There is always material. The world is an endless source of metaphors and conceits. It’s just a matter of seeing, writing, rewriting and rewriting again.
I read a poet’s work,
I think how long it took to write,
Of what he saw and I did not.
Concise and hammered
not in metal, in –
meter, rhythm, rhyme and word,
Wrought in inked heart-blood,
There he is.
I close the book,
set it down
Atop the coffee table
and go about my day –
Like a cloth pattern imprinted for a time
on my skin
His images and verse,
press upon my mind.
First, plain speech in the mother tongue.
Hearing it, you should be able to see
Apple trees, a river, the bend of a road,
As if in a flash of summer lightning.
And it should contain more than images.
It has been lured by singsong,
A daydream, melody. Defenseless,
It was bypassed by the sharp, dry world.
You often ask yourself why you feel shame
Whenever you look through a book of poetry.
As if the author, for reasons unclear to you,
Addressed the worse side of your nature,
Pushing aside thought, cheating thought.
Seasoned with jokes, clowning, satire,
Poetry still knows how to please.
Then its excellence is much admired.
But the grave combats where life is at stake
Are fought in prose. It was not always so.
And our regret has remained unconfessed.
Novels and essays serve but will not last.
One clear stanza can take more weight
Than a whole wagon of elaborate prose.
Moment of Knowledge
When do we touch it and grasp,
When does the tree bloom?
It comes so softly
Then grabs the mind, soul, body
Not to be undone
Like Zeno’s Tortoise
Never touched caught in my hands
Half, half, half again.
Knowledge grasped we know
No other way, as when
Trees turn lush and green.
The unseen can we
Know? The whirlwind I would not
See but for the snow.