Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Custodian


Last summer the meadow foundered
under the blazed stare of the sun.
Goldenrod browned, shriveled
and listed like masts in a dry marina —
no sails, no wind, no water.
All summer long I hardly
dipped my toe into that dusty font —
the whole sanctuary abandoned
by God, bird and woman.
But what Nature ruins, Nature can
repair, having the keys. Today She
overturns her silver box,
gliding rain into all her little locks.



26 comments:

  1. Yes, exactly our experience last summer as well. What a difference one year makes - this time last year we were in the midst of a drought with 10 100 degree plus days in a row. This year, trees I thought were dead came back, lush leaved and healthy, thanks to abundant spring rains.

    Your words remind me to be grateful, and be mindful of nature's cycles.

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    1. Trees you thought were dead . . . Oh, Amanda.

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  2. May the rains come sooner than later on a parched land. Beautiful.

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    1. Let them come. If only we could decide.

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  3. This poem quenches my thirst - I love "gliding rain into all her little locks" especially :)

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    1. And what might that open in you? :)

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  4. Nature holds all the keys, doesn't she. Love the sanctuary/font/silver box connection.
    Beautiful. Thank you.

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    1. Of course She can't really heal the broken houses and people, can she, and I know this: she can't repair all that she ruins. But she has more keys than we give her credit for, I think. We humans may destroy ourselves, but She will recover from us.

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  5. Lovely poem, Ruth. I especially like the two concluding lines.

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    1. Thank you, Maureen. Something arrived suddenly, in those lines.

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  6. i love the music of this poem in the mouth, the sensual satisfaction of the strong rhyme at the end (and then the pleasure of looking back through the poem and seeing how it has been subtly foretold and prepared by internal and half rhymes from the beginning), and the irony of coming to rest on "locks" just as the rain is opening the meadow

    i feel the parallel suggested between the meadow and the poet -- these times of spiritual dryness when hopes and beliefs list like stranded masts, and it seems that the rain, whatever the "rain" might be in any particular life, might never come ... until it does come ...

    .

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    1. Your honor to the poem fills me up (and over), James.

      And yes, it does come, always, after a season of drought ... if we are lucky. We usually are, if we allow ourselves to be unlocked.

      xo

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  7. So tight and precise and lovely.
    The image of the locks exactly apt and new.

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    1. This was work, dear Elizabeth. It didn't just come. This is a perfect example of when the poem writes itself, reveals itself. I had no idea where it was going.

      Thank you.

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    2. Odd, isn't it -how some things DO write themselves and others are terribly difficult. To take the lock image longer - all the little clickings until everything lines up perfectly. I used to write sonnets just for fun to see if I could - sort of lyrical crossword puzzles.....

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  8. So very beautiful, Ruth... and a perfect way to look at it.

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    1. Thank you, Gwen. It was a revelation to me, that came only because of the poem.

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  9. Oh, she DOES have the keys, then!

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    1. I think so. :)

      Why does anyone complain about what she brings? I think we are just too small to get it.

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  10. Ruth, I love this . You are such a talented poet.

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    1. Deb, I'm glad you love it. Thank you for saying such a nice thing.

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  11. So beautiful, Ruth! Rain – we had a pouring of it last night, and two days ago we had another, but that time with heavy winds and tornado warnings (getting so tired with these.) I am back at the computer after about 4+ weeks. I read all your lovely poems and your post on the birthday of your sister. She is 70 and is happy – all is well, sorry that she is in pain though. I am past 70 and know the pain – above all after walking up and down all those hills in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. It must be nice to have sisters – I’d love to have just one.

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    1. Thank you, Vagabonde! It's great to see you after so long away. It's good that you keep going, even through the pain. Of course it would be worse if you stopped. I tell myself this too, but even at 56 I just want to stop sometimes. Thank you so much for reading my posts.

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  12. It's such a lovely poem, and I can just imagine how the dryness and drought feels or felt, although we are far from drought here - but the way it ends, with those two lines, that makes it really really special!

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All responses are welcome.