with scarcely a spare spot to write another word,
is filled – in large part – with bits of poetry that did not grow wings
and soar off the page in inspiriting breaths –
and yet, for a few seconds, I must have thought
something intriguing had alighted on my mind, as I put pen to paper,
before entombing my reflection between dark smothering covers …
I wonder whether words-that-stir can be resuscitated,
or do they only really hold that magic intensity, once …
the first time they swoop to the top of consciousness
and tumble down that ebullient waterfall of the mind
in great jolts of apperception that can, never quite, be duplicated
perhaps, it is the memory of that moment:
that brief wild ride of cognition that leaves indelible lines within us …
to splash evocatively to the surface of our thoughts,
throughout our days
Golly, what a week. Flu came through the door with the grandchildren and I am still under the weather. Along with so many others, I have a lot of concerns about where this world is heading. With the passing of Leonard Cohen, it feels as though the curtain is coming down – achingly – on the progressive and enlightened ethos of so much we hold dear … that nebulous, indefinable “je ne sais quoi feeling” that we were, slowly, going in a decent direction: socially, and even politically.
And so, as I often do in unsettling times, I found myself turning to old poems – old friends from childhood – to try and rekindle that sense of constancy – without which, days feel bleaker – whether, indeed, they are or not … indelible lines … that shine a light, even in the darkest hours.
Artistically, the 20th century music revolution of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, John Lennon (and many others) and poets like Leonard Cohen and Maya Angelou (and many others) made us want to believe, we were starting to get it right. But, clearly, we have lost our way.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Emily Dickinson (1830-86)
note: apperception – I can’t believe I haven’t come across this lovely word before. It means (according to Merriam-Webster): introspective self-consciousness; mental perception; especially: the process of understanding something perceived in terms of previous experience.
photo: Little Qualicum Falls – H. Bourke
© 2016 Wendy Bourke