The power of poetry

The beauty of poetry is that it is healing. It sews up the loose edges in our life. It sews our hearts back together again. It readily will become a friend for life.

Some poetry is lightweight and floats like a balloon in the sky. Some poetry is deep and will actually not reveal its true meaning for a long time after.

House built of breath

Words plain as pancakes syruped with endearment.

Simple as potatoes, homely as cottage cheese.

Wet as onions, dry as salt.

Slow as honey, fast as seltzer,

my raisin my sultana, my apricot love

my artichoke, furry one, my pineapple

I love you daily as milk,

Ilove you nightly as aromatic port.

The words are hung out on the line,

sheets for the wind to bleach.

The words are simmering slowly

on the back burner like a good stew.

Words are the kindling in the wood stove.

Even the quilt at night is stuffed with word down.

When are we are alone the walls sing

and even the cats talk but only in Yiddish.

When we are alone we make love in deeds.

And then in words. And then in food.

— Marge Piercy. From The Art of Blessing the Day

Cats like angels

Cats like angels are supposed to be thin;

pigs like cherubs are supposed to be fat.

People are mostly in between, a knob

of bone sticking out in the knee you might

like to pad, a dollop of flab hanging

over the belt. You punish yourself,

one of those rubber ball kids have

that come bouncing back off their own

paddles, rebounding on the same slab.

You want to be slender and seamless

as a bolt.

When I was a girl

I love spiny men with ascetic grimaces

all elbows and words and cartilage

ribbed like cast up fog-grey hulls,

faces to cut the eyes blind

on the glittering blade, chins

of Aegean prows bent on piracy.

Now I look for men whose easy bellies

show a love for the flesh and the table,

men who will come in the kitchen

and sit, who don’t think peeling potatoes

makes their penis shrink; men with broad

fingers and purple figgy balls

men with rumpled furrows and the slightly

messed look at ease of beds recently

well used.

We are not all supposed

to look like nourished fourteen year

old boys, no matter what the fashions

ordain. You are built to pull a cart,

to lift a heavy load and bear it,

to haul up the long slope, and so

am I, peasant bodies, earthy, solid

shapely dark glazed clay pots that can

stand on the fire. When we put our

bellies together we do not clatter

but bounce on the good upholstery.

—Marge Piercy from the moon is always female



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