14 Days of Love: Day 11 ~ Poetry

This is the last poetry post for this project (not the last entirely) I couldn’t decide which to choose.  How do you choose a poem that best describes love?  Which, of the many, could possibly be the one?  😉  So, there is more than one.

SHE RESPONDED
~ Hafiz

The birds’ favorite songs
You do not hear,

For their most flamboyant music takes place
When their wings are stretched
Above the trees

And they are smoking the opium
Of pure freedom.

It is healthy for the prisoner
To have faith

That one day he will again move about
Wherever he wants,
Feel the wondrous grit of life –
Less structured,

Find all wounds, debts stamped canceled,
Paid.

I once asked a bird,
“How is it that you fly in this gravity
Of darkness?”

She responded,

“Love lifts
Me.”

OF LOVE
~ Mary Oliver

I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord.
Sometimes it was lasting, whether
active or not.
Sometimes it was all but ephemeral,
maybe only an afternoon,
but not less real for that.

They stay in my mind,
these beautiful people,
or anyway beautiful people to me, of which
there are so many.
You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet,
or maybe missed.

Love, love, love, it was
the core of my life, from which,
of course, comes the word for
heart.
And, oh, have I mentioned that
some of them were men and some were
women and some – now carry my revelation with you –
were trees.

Or places.  Or music flying above
the names of their makers.  Or clouds, or
the sun, which was the first, and the best,
the most loyal for certain, who looked
most faithfully into my eyes, every morning.

So I imagine
such love of the world – its fervency, it’s shining
it’s innocence and hunger to give of itself –
I imagine this is how it began.”

TO HAVE WITHOUT HOLDING
~ Marge Piercy

Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling in the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.

It hurts to love wide open
stretching the muscles that feel
as if they’re made of wet plaster,
then of blunt knives, then
of sharp knives.

It hurts to thwart the reflexes
of grab, of clutch; to love and let
go again and again.  It pesters to remember
the lover who is not in the bed,
to hold back what is owed to the work
that gutters like a candle in a cave
without air, to love consciously,
conscientiously, concretely, constructively.

I can’t do it, you say it’s killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry
You float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing
on the cold  and hot winds of our breath,
as we make and unmake in passionate
diastole and systole the rhythm
of our unbound bonding, to have
and not to hold, to love
with minimized malice,
hunger and anger, moment by moment
balanced.

4 thoughts on “14 Days of Love: Day 11 ~ Poetry

  1. This Mary Oliver poem is ridiculous! I didn’t know there were any Oliver poems I hadn’t read! Such golden inspiration, ideas, art, and references packed into these 14 days. Thank you so much for doing the research and the compilation – I know it takes time and a ton of commitment – hmmm…a pretty good representation of the very essence of love, eh?

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