Saturday, February 02, 2008

silent poem

Moments of Grace
by carol ann duffy


I dream through a familiar, wordless place.
The small boat of the day sails into morning,
past the postman with his modest haul, the full trees
which sound like the sea, leaving my hands free
to remember. Moments of grace. Like this.

Shaken by first love and kissing a wall. Of course.
The dried ink on the palms then ran suddenly wet,
a glistening blue name in each fist. I sit now
in a kind of sly trance, hoping I will not feel me
breathing too close across time. A face to the name. Gone.

The chimes of mothers calling in children
at dusk. Yes. It seems we live in those staggering years
only to haunt them; the vanishing scents
and colours of infinite hours like a melting balloon
in earlier hands. The boredom since.

Memory's caged bird won't fly. These days
we are adjectives, nouns. In moments of grace
we were verbs, the secret of poems, talented.
A thin skin lies on the language. We stare
deep in the eyes of strangers, look for the doing words.

Now I smell you peeling an orange in the other room.
Now I take off my watch, let a minute unravel
in my hands, listen and look as I do so,
and mild loss opens my lips like No.
Passing, you kiss the back of my neck. A blessing.


carol ann duffy
new selected poems 1984-2004, Picador 2004

15 comments:

tut-tut said...

It seems we live in those staggering years
only to haunt them; the vanishing scents . . .

Oh, how true, how true. Where did you find this over arching poem?

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow! Wow.

Wish I could be more articulate. Maybe when I've read it a few more times. Thank you!

kimy said...

lovely - this poem tickles all my senses!

this cyber-poetry slam is quite lovely! thanks for the offering.

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

oooh, sweet (hear the s and the w?)
thank you.

Akelamalu said...

Beautiful Lettie, thank you for sharing your find. x

sunt_lacrimae_rerum said...

Thank you so much. I love Carol Ann Duffy's work and it's always wonderful to read and reread.

Thank you for choosing her.

Gary said...

Wow, what a wonderful choice. It is so vivid and alive and full of emotion. Really excellent choice.

ambermoggie said...

a great choice:)

Cinn said...

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I love the reference to smelling the orange in a nearby room... I can almost smell it myself in my imagination.
Lovely.
To change the topic completely, I am in love with your knitted hemp bag (on niddy noddy), so I followed the link to the pattern, and I started some experimental knitting with some scrap cotton yarn. I kept losing and creating stitches too, but I think I have the hang of it now, so I'll be shopping for the right yarn, and I'll post my results!

Steve said...

Yeah, the orange struck me too -- the joyful tangy smell and then the kiss. Great poem!

dennis said...

dennis wants to let time unravel... beautiful words.

deborah oak said...

beautiful!! Thank you for participating..i'm still following the strands...I think the poetry may be infinite...thank you.

goatman said...

I hope you don't mind I captured these words.
thanks for this

Pod said...

despite knowing carol well, i seem to have totally missed this wonderfulness. the third verse is brilliant. the concept of living such years only to haunt them. perfectly articulated for such a feeling. ghosts in our own lives.
sorry (eek!) for not visiting much of late. same blah same blah
x