Monday Dec 11

SwistWallycreditElizabethWilda Wally Swist's new book, Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love, was chosen by Yusef Komunyakaa as a co-winner in the Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Competition, and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in the spring of 2012.  His previous book, Luminous Dream, was chosen as a finalist in the 2010 FutureCycle Poetry Book Award, and his scholarly monograph, The Friendship of Two New England Poets, Robert Frost and Robert Francis, was published by The Edwin Mellen Press in 2009.
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Cinnamon and Honey
after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Clarinet
Concerto in A, Rondo (Allegro), Kochel 622
 
 
We have lived most of our lives
Preparing for what it is
 
We think we have lost—
Before beginning to just come into
 
Our knowing how the fulfillment
Of consciousness unfolds
 
Into its own sumptuousness,
Whose pleasure supreme
 
Offers a similar taste as that of cinnamon,
And how much and how often
 
We can possibly spread the silkiness
Of its lusciousness through emanations
 
Through and around us,
Flowing like honey from a broken comb,
 
Like the light irradiating its flow,
And the color of the light imbued
 
With the honey, and the sweetness
Beyond just a honeyed sweetness,
 
When the light emanates not only
Around us any sunny morning,
 
As the walls of the red brick brownstones
Sparkle in a steady stream,
 
But also swells through us in a confluence
As a river that flows into the sea.
 
 
 
Nymphs and Satyr
after a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1873
 
 
When Bouguereau painted the satyr being brought
down by the sisterhood of nymphs, he represented
 
a mythological truth that otherwise might be
overlooked, especially since he painted the figures
 
life-size, so we would not at all miss that the satyr
in the painting is in flight, and who is resisting
 
the nymphs who are in pursuit.  Would we to learn
to not pass judgment before considering
 
the archetypal elements in our own psyche, or even
nature herself?  As in the flight-dance
 
of the scout bee before the hive, she communicates
to her sisters, who await her arrival, exactly where
 
the nectar-rich blossoms are, and not only
where they have opened within their own sweetness,
 
but also in what clearing or meadow.
Just as by the lip  of what pond, or by which twisting
 
cataract or waterfall, insouciant nymphs
just may be pursuing the real satyr of our imagination.
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Photo credit: Elizabeth Wilda