|Poetry calls us to pause. There is so much we overlook, while the abundance around us continues to shimmer, on its own. --Naomi Shihab Nye|
Poetry Calls Us To Pause--by Elizabeth Brule Farrell, Mar 27, 2021
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. --Carl Jung
I have been writing poems since childhood. My notebook became a friend with whom I could have a quiet dialogue. This relationship has continued and sustained me for decades. It is in observing the small things that make up a daily life that calls me into making a poem.
It is the simple topic, a commonality that I choose to explore, so when I walk down a street, open a can of soup, view a fading poster on the wall, or imagine what I might write in wet cement, I ask myself what am I noticing and what is my response in the moment.
The action of allowing a pause to set down words without knowing their direction, following a free flow of a spontaneous impulse, always leads to a discovery for me. This gives shape to what becomes a poem. A coming together in the moment of what is given to me, the writer, and what then is offered to you, the reader. We meet each other in this way.
Taking the exit to the city
you pass bleak alley ways, chic
restaurants, someone sitting
on the sidewalk stoned.
He cannot even crawl to the trash
to retrieve half eaten muffins.
He is the pavement, a part
of the scenery, a broken monument
no one sees anymore. I pause
thinking he is someone’s
brother, son, father, husband,
uncle, friend, who used to belong
somewhere else but has lost
the address, the will, the mind,
and cannot move from this place.
I say hello. I try and make it
the holiest hello ever said
in a tone that really means
I know you; I love you.
It’s easier to open a can,
watch the letters float.
The spoon swirls in the broth
catching a word to swallow.
There is bread to break
and a prayer to be said.
Not for miracles
but for the ordinary.
THE CHANGING FIELD
Under my arm I carried home the print
in its cardboard tube from the gallery.
A frame was built and glass cut to fit
over Van Gogh’s yellow wheat.
Years of sunlight through the window
gradually bleached the colors
changing the warm open field
into a barren desert.
But the birds! Their wings
never left the sky.
I want to write the word
letter by letter
as you would with a stick
in the sand
or a finger in the dirt,
magnified on the ground.
shaped by a shoe tip
or the edge of a rock.
in wet cement.
Grateful acknowledgement to the following publications where the poems first appeared:
The Awakenings Review, 2020, For Everyone, Spillway, 2016, Alphabet Soup, Poetry East, 2011, The Changing Field, Watch My Rising, 2016, Hope.
Elizabeth Brulé Farrell has been the recipient of The Louise Bogan Memorial Award for Poetry, written advertising copy in Chicago before moving to New England, been writer-in-residence in several elementary schools. Her poems have been published in The Paterson Literary Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Healing Muse, Earth’s Daughters, The Comstock Review, Pilgrimage, Except for Love: New England Poets Inspired by Donald Hall, The Perch, and more.
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Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest.
-Henry David Thoreau-
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