Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is this Love



Bob Marley: Is This Love

Sending Love Poems to Iran

Farideh Hasanzadeh writes to ask me
to send love poems for a project she
is working on.

I immediately think —
"All of my poems are love poems."

As I am looking through various manuscripts
OZ calls looking for Jay,
"What are you doing?"

I say, "I am looking for love poems
to send to Iran."

"You're probably the only person
in America doing that today.
More people must do this."

Here are a few I sent this morning.
Send some of your own, type
love poems into the comments section —

share the small miracles
that make us human
under any flag.



Elephant Buddha

First there were photographs of it,
or part of it—
you could identify an eye,
part of the trunk.

The photos were in exquisite color,
the last one revealed the whole thing—
a mountain in the shape of an elephant
which when I looked up was actually there
on the horizon,
was the horizon—
a huge mountain that was shaped like
an elephant, was called “Elephant Buddha.”

It was nearly a planet of its own—
serene, and green, a mountain of rock,
trees, streams, lakes, alpine flowers—

A national park spread across the forehead.
There were signs to it.
Above that was an elephant-bald head.
There were books about it
in which houses were painted upside down
and floated in the sky.
Three of my favorite activists were selling
postcards along the road—

I just looked
and celebrated—
celebrated
and looked, looked
at the Elephant Buddha—
wise, serene and erotic.



Noise of the Soul

Sometimes
I feel your presence in my soul
so deeply
I cannot understand how
you can possibly not
be exactly
here, now.

It is like a flashback
delayed stress syndrome
leaves me wondering
what is real —
this feeling that completely
envelops me
or the world I live in
empty of you,
full of every sort of silence
except this
noise of the soul.


Autumn Negations

The sound of leaves falling is not you coming home, soft
you have always been but your steps are not leaves falling
between houses,
nor are they in anticipation real,
but come in their own time falling different from my own.
Like the flat speed of my life, is not you stepping into
the wake of my listening.
With edge of surprise you come startling me and the leaves
you are not gently unlike translate
into life out of doors
with rain rushing past where you step.

Water in the lakes, the blur of rain on it, are not
you in my life.
Nor is the tide or fish to be caught in it. The gamble and you
are not similar, though enduring an extreme.
The people in your world and weather are more like you,
different and sleepwalking
compared to the touch of your love,
here,
in this season of negation,
you maintain.



Babies in Pajamas

are not combatants
or enemies
of anyone, nor
grown to adulthood
would be
but for rampant
injustice.

Nothing
justifies torching a room
full of sleeping children

and if the arc
of our world
demands a rationale
for killing
sleeping children

that arc must
immediately
and irrevocably

change.


Poems, ©Susan Bright, 2007





Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-ninety books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Announcement: The Plain View Press e-store is online.


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11 Comments:

Anonymous Holly Anderson said...

Physics

If the basic tendency of all objects in the overheated universe
is to move away from one another,
how come I’m obsessed
with the idea of returning
to a tumble-down farm
in the crook of a cloudy river
where I spent time as a wild-haired girl?
Does that make any sense?
Or is desire more binding, maybe,
than the laws of physics?

© Holly Anderson

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a note from Muna about the love of her life --

Until when . . .
an intimate portrait of the Hamash family in Dheisheh refugee camp
In this 2004 documentary, Palestinian-American director Dahna Abourahme follows four families living in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. Fadi, 13, cares for his four younger brothers while his widowed mother works in an Israeli settlement; the Hammash parents, five children, and grandparents share their past, present, and future; Sana, a schoolgirl activist in the first intifada, lives with her grandmother and commutes to do community work; Jamal, a young cook, reminisces about growing up under occupation and working in Israel; and Emad and Hanan try to give their four-year-old daughter an idyllic childhood in spite of army incursions and gunfire.

This film is unique in that it focuses on the private, day-to-day life of Palestinian refugees and lets them speak for themselves in a kaleidescope of artistically edited interviews and scenes. No violence, nothing dramatic, just the poetry of everyday life and the resistance to de facto Israeli military annexation of the West Bank through humor; commitment to community, family, and the dignity of each individual; and insistence on the right of return.

Visit www.lysphotography.com for a photo essay on the Hamash family.

visit www.bfuu.orgfor upcoming showing in US.

Muna Hamzeh

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Christina Pacosz said...

First Day Delivery
for Larry

Dawn wears gray and pink.
Venus is a brilliant eye
watching us, while
we walk the lane beneath
the mute trees.

We are fetching today’s paper,
a small act of sharing
to begin the day.
To begin a day -
who knows where
it will end?

More headlines
tomorrow and how many
tomorrows?

You carry the paper
under your arm.
Venus is inscrutable,
a hot, white light
drilling our backs.

*********************
She Wanted to Go Into the Corn


Green arms beckoning
The gathering pools of shadow
restless as water washing pebbles

She wanted to sing a rustling song
and go into the corn
like a man going to a woman

The green breathing
these things we forget

************************
Scattering the Ashes

for Ursa and Larry

A black sky battens down
the dark hatch of sea.
La Sirene casts an aquamarine eye
on the refuge of white sugar dune.

It could be the blue Caribbean.
Bounsoua, Haiti. Mouin ke, under siege.
I scoop a handful
of ash and bone.

Rust stains the palm of my hand.
You scatter what remains
like winter seed. I toss cinders
to the curled lip

of foam and slash
my cheeks with dust.
Unwilling to let go
you draw a line in the sand

beyond the greedy waves.
A rounded bone.
I think socket, joint, muscle.
What she once was grins,

ribbon tongue lolling.
A russet streak
racing the tidal flat
beneath a mute moon.

Ash and grit
pelt the water like rain.
Red suddenly,
a wound.

November, 1994
Huntington Beach, South Carolina


*Good evening. My heart. Haitian Creole.

@Christina Pacosz

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Rosalie O'Leary said...

Honor me

Honor me with your voice, just one note, here,
now. The night is close and Mars was never
closer and I need to pretend you’re not
so far away. Honor me with your voice.
Sing me your newest poem; send me the sounds
of your world so I can know how you live.
Play me the music of all around you.
I want to know if you can smell the sea
where you are. Take me into your summer
evening. Let me see what book lies beside
your bed. Sing me your newest favorite poem;
write me with stories to dampen my cheeks
rhymes to lighten my heart. Write me as if
I was your favorite poem. Write me again.

(c)2005/Rosalie O'Leary

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susan,dear
I have never seen a woman so much active and vivid like you. You can turn every simple thing to a great idea !

Farideh

8:53 AM  
Blogger OZ said...

what a wonderful thing. thanks all

2:46 PM  
Blogger Joyce Nower said...

Wounds

Some wounds never heal you said and I felt
a rush of love for you in that life before
we met, a youth at war, out of the orphanage
of pain. The train chugged south. Onions
dotted the field, onions and blood and dead horse
and crammed in boxcars the others huddled,
eyes hovering over thin faces,
and the fear there - and in the field row
upon row of onions. The bitterness growing.
You gathered them up as if they were apples and you
quartered them like grandma used to quarter
pippins and you passed them out to the hungry. Now
I cannot eat onions, you said. Thirty years is not time enough to heal some wounds.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Joyce Nower said...

And so we have come to twenty years of love –
beyond song, dark eyes, love-making in murphy
beds, against fence posts, behind the stern
stone lions in the city library park;

having run a course between the dull gulp
of domesticity and the ceaseless terminations
of this neurotic time; no his/her snapshot,
he taller, she, an orchid on the memory of a bosom.

Having come through so far – what is love?

In the summer garden two butterflies careen
wings touching gently over the dying flower.
Above its nest the eagle hovers, sights
another like itself, crags away wheeling,
and diving warns it of some foe.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous jnower@mail.sdsu.edu said...

And so we have come to twenty years of love –
beyond song, dark eyes, love-making in murphy
beds, against fence posts, behind the stern
stone lions in the city library park;

having run a course between the dull gulp
of domesticity and the ceaseless terminations
of this neurotic time; no his/her snapshot,
he taller, she, an orchid on the memory of a bosom.

Having come through so far – what is love?

In the summer garden two butterflies careen
wings touching gently over the dying flower.
Above its nest the eagle hovers, sights
another like itself, crags away wheeling,
and diving warns it of some foe.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Susan I really appreciate your kindness in inviting Wom-po's and your other friends to send love poem to Iran. Iranian are true lovers of poetry and they are very interested in reading world poetry. "Love" in this today world, where our senses are bombarded with so much information and disinformation is a good theme to purify our hearts. Please give my thanks to Holly Anderson, Muna Hamzeh, Christina Pacosz, Rosalie O'Leary, Joyce Nower, who send beautiful love poems for Iranians. Thank you for everything. Yours Farideh

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone who send poems and messages -- we love hearing from you.
SB

1:09 PM  

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