Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Afternoon Prayer


I toss a handful of words on the meadow
while pondering seeds and the hidden nature of things.

A stone rolls away from the tomb
as I resume sweeping the porch.

27 comments:

Geraldine said...

My inspiration for the afternoon ahead. Thanks Billy!

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Lana Gramlich said...

A very cool poem-ette. :)

lluvia said...

beautiful, as always..!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the sense of spirituality in the everyday, life as prayer. Very nice.

Lane said...

What a lovely ponder of a poem with an excellent 'pause for thought' image.

Billy said...

Geraldine, you're welcome, and thanks for reading my humble offering.

Lana, lately I hav been reading very short poems by Merwin, Jarrel, Hughes, Carlos Williams, etc. Maybe some poo-bah should create a new genre labeled "poem-ette" LOL.

Lluivia, thank you!

Juliet, that's exactly what I was going for--a sense of the sacred in everyday life.

Lane, yes, a snippet about thinking. If I get any more minimalist, I shall be writing mere punctuation marks -:)

Charles Gramlich said...

I wish my words would come up on the lawn and I could just harvest em and send em off.

Great image.

Beloved Dreamer said...

billy, you already know what I think about this poem.
William Carlos Williams is my favorite poet. If I could write half as good as he, I would die happy.

love-Melanie-bd

gautami tripathy said...

Short verses are always so power packed. This too qualifies!

Sarah Hina said...

This is my kind of prayer.

I've been reveling in the slim, but rich, field of short verse too. Glad to see you there, Billy. ;)

Jo said...

Lovely, especially the last line.

Billy said...

Charles, thanks. I agree--would make things easier.

Melanie, yes, we should all be so lucky to write like WCW. Thanks!

Guatami, this almost reads like haiku, I think, except for the form. Thank you.

Sarah, short verse can say so much, and in many instances more than 50 line poems.

Jo, thanks. The ordinary keeps me grounded, like sweeping.

Lisa said...

Holy cow! I was just about to start banging my head against the wall because I've come back here 3 times and kept lurking away because I didn't quite "get it" and I felt like a dumbass. And then it all came together for me. Yes! What an incredible amount of imagery and meaning in so few words. Wow, this is just great.

Lana Gramlich said...

Billy; Modern haiku is like that, actually. Rather than rigidly following the 5-7-5 syllable rule, you merely write a 3 lined poem that captures a moment in time & can be spoken in a single breath. They're more fun. A couple of my examples;

Hop hop hop hop
STOP
Squirrel statue

Startled alive
Shy duck
Bursts skyward

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

you said so much in so little! my favorite :)

Janice Thomson said...

I like your message here - that there is magic and mystery enough for a lifetime in the simple things of life. Excellent poem William.

SandyCarlson said...

Such is the magic of language, such is the mystery of life. I love it, Billy.

ChristineEldin said...

A stone rolls away from the tomb.

I read that line several times. Very nice poem.

Billy said...

Lisa, don't feel bad--and keep your head safe!!! The imagery is utlra-compressed here, much like haiku -:) It only suggests at a meaning.

Lana, I love your poems (above). My poem isn't technically haiku--just has the feeling of it because of thr brevity and the swift turn of subject in the last lines. There is an "Amercan haiku" that is not as regimented as 5-7-5, although some don't acknowledge it as "true ku." I think aha.com has some explanations.

Andrew, thanks. It was only an exercise in conciseness, but I liked the result, so went with it.

Janice, I'd go crazy if I couldn't do laundry or sweep a floor (or some other mundane chore). I look back on my life and see some of the most meaningful moments that, at the time, I didn't appreciate.

Thanks, Sandy. I think each prayer, however humble, rolls back the stone and advances us toward life and its simple but glorious tasks.

Christine, thank you very much. The whole poem hinges on that line. It's about how small moments, done dutifully, give us freedom.

jason evans said...

What a creative way of portraying wandering, but important thoughts. Bravo, Billy!

Billy said...

Jason, thanks. I'm not quite at "Jesus wept," but I'm trying to be brief so I can retain the essence of poetry--compression of imagery and ideas.

Andrée said...

For some odd reason, I see your spirit released by the stone that rolls from the tomb. Tossing the words on the meadow freed you spiritually. I love this vision of the way I read this.

Billy said...

andree, that's exactly the way I intended it :) --a feeling of freedom after a simple prayer, a moment of resuirrection while doing a chore. Thanks!

Cynthia said...

A melancholy hint to this poem,
as if the person is reluctantly
sweeping something or someone
away, at first my eyes read
weepin on the porch.

Billy said...

Cynthia, I think that's a valid reading too. I wrote it as a small moment of comfort in the middle of chores, but I can see where it might have the undertone you mention.

Tina Trivett said...

Your words strike a cord within me...I love the way you see your world.

Billy said...

Tina, thanks again -:)