Monday, July 8, 2013

Suddenly in two worlds

 with apologies to Wallace Stevens

A woman is always suddenly in two worlds,
over the morning's breakfast plates
jammed up knives, amid soccer behind the hedge,
screaming, thuds, kicked leather.
The wind calls her to write: birds at the feeder
startle when the big black dog runs out
and her poems are suddenly startled, fleeing
before she can grab paper and pen.
The kids come in: one tries her flute, he opens
the side gate to greet the barking lab.

We are many worlds wrapped up in
this green space, the (good) Mom she tries to be
while the Poet skulks back into the slow cooker
left on simmer all day, closes the notepad
and pads in socking feet back
to the kitchen. 

Eve reimagines her beginning

“I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over man: she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived, and became a transgressor.”  (I Tim 2:11-14) 

Naming Adam

“She desires herself alone, fulfills her desire
becomes pregnant from that desire.”
               Reinventing Eve, Kim Chernin

Some say she was pulled from his rib
golden in the leaves of paradise

or rose from the spermy sea on a shell
foam on the salt waves.

But the first woman entered like lightning
from the wet red cave

a sea of milk in her breasts
rich menstrual blood in her womb.

She took of her blood
mixed it with clay, then swallowed it,

dancing, churned the moonblood
in her belly to a child.

From the cleft of light, the sacred
opening, the first man was born.

She licked her blood from the clay-wet form
breathed life into his mouth.

He called her Eve, because she was the mother
of all living beings.

She named him Adam, for the red earth
from which he was made.

(published, Poetry Canada, 1990)