Friday, September 28, 2007

Path to Peace

Last week for Friday Poetry I posted about the Poetry in Place Project our sixth graders are doing. They've post poetry all over the school. This week I found William Carlos William's This is Just to Say posted on the kitchen refrigerator.

Sara Holbrook's paths to peace is posted by the elevator. I emailed Sara and asked her if I could have permission to post that lovely poem here on my blog, and she graciously agreed. It is published in her 2002 collection of poems called isn't she ladylike?, from Collinwood Press. I give it to you here:

paths to peace

...The lone, drone moan of a wandering wind,
the hum of a window fan.
The no horn, well-worn freeway shine
pulled down against the evening sill.
Those long low notes placed side-by-side on lines
drawn across the day's events.
sounds with all the noise wrung out.
Predictable enough to hold me still,
pull the covers tight beneath my chin,
fold my arms across my chest and
close my eyes with gentle fingers, whispering,
...this is peace.

...I dream of love.
As if the two are related. Peace and love, holding hands in the dark.
But love's not won by a constant heart -
.simple, steady, even as white noise.
The still comfort that smiles from the step,
...Goodbye dear, have a nice day.
...Welcome home love, may I draw you a bath?
Nah. Love is won by excitement.
...Isn't it?
...Aren't we supposed to lash ourselves against its bow
with thunderous hearts and flashing eyes,
toss our heads back, and throw ourselves against the winds of

...Survey the crowd and
you'll find peaceful love the preferred destination.
But at the ticket window,
impatience panting anxiously behind us, next in line.
Sweat drooling down our necks, biting our lips,
and forced to choose
between this love that promises to call everyday
rain or shine, rain or shine,
...RAIN OR SHINE (eh?)
...and THIS love -
that maybe will or won't be on time
when maybe it does or doesn't show up,
because maybe (just maybe?) we just might wind up
at Disneyworld, where there maybe a parade with fireworks
and the cotton candy won't melt so fast... this time.
...We hastily put our money
before the ticket taker's frown
and pick the circuitous route to peace - through chaos.
...Makes sense - doesn't it?
...More interesting, wouldn't you say?
...I can get there from here.
...I'm clever.
...Life is short.
...Don't want to miss out.
...After all, you only go around once.
This makes sense, to book our trip to peace
down the path marked pandemonium
...Doesn't it?
...Isn't peace some kind of premium item
that's offered with rocking chairs?
I mean, I'll get there eventually.
...Doesn't everyone?
It's the ultimate mileage program for those of us fools
who can't keep both feet on the ground.
Those who seek a love that's constant and true
by choosing the love that's fickle and false, if we don't know the difference.
As if maps aren't available on every street corner and
we haven't crept behind the buildings on past trips to Disneyworld see that they are shallow and have no rooms.
...And the still comfort that waits
peacefully on the step, still waits.
Because as I listen for that long, low note in the dark?
It suddenly starts to snore and I break out in night sweats
because Peace seems a little too close to that final destination.
...Doesn't it?

....-Sara Holbrook

Other books by Sara Holbrook we have in our collection:
Wham! it's a Poetry Jam
I Never Said I wasn't Difficult
Walking on the Boundaries of Change

It was suggested that bloggers might want to play along with the Poetry in Place idea. We got it from Georgia Heard in her book Awakening the Heart. She calls it an "anthology of the walls". I have asked Kelly of Big A, Little a to put me on the Friday Poetry host schedule in November so I can do a round up with the theme of "poetry in place".

Start thinking about what poems you could print out and hang up on the walls around you. The idea is to find a place where people stand waiting with nothing to do. Put a poem up there and give them something beautiful to think about. Near the elevator... water fountain... vending machines... bus stop... bank machine... crossing light corner...

We could be like Alice's Restauront and start a movement or something!

Today's poetry round up is at AmoXcalli. Go read!


Kelly Fineman said...

Lovely words. I see why you like the poem so much.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Those who seek a love that's constant and true
by choosing the love that's fickle and false,

This is so true, and we know it's true, and the question is always, "Then, why...?"

I'll start thinking of places to put poetry.

Sara said...

Poetry in Place day--perfect! I'll mark my calendar, and start looking.

Cloudscome said...

This is going to be so much fun! Just think if you found someone else's Poetry in Place and discovered a Friday Poetry blogger in you own neighborhood that you didn't know about before! I bet it could go around the world!

LiteracyTeacher said...

Simply Wonderful

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the idea of putting poetry around like that!

:: Suzanne :: said...

ha! loved the Alice's Restaurant remark. I use A R in my Eng 101 classes.