When Bloom is Done by Shelley Armitage
When Bloom is Done
by Shelley Armitage
I’m Shelley Armitage from Vega, Texas sharing Radio Readers Book Bytes with you today. I’ve been thinking lately about how poetry can be like a prayer. Inspired by a piece by Richard Osler, I like how he describes the poem as coming from a mysterious other inside him, that the poem writes us not the other way around. Writing a poem, he says, entails surrender, paying attention, giving up control. The American poet Mary Oliver writes in her poem “Praying,” “just pay attention, then patch a few words together. . .this isn’t a contest but a doorway into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak.”
Here's a poem from my recent book of poems A Habit of Landscape, in which I try to honor the sacredness of the moment.
Texas Spring During Covid
sipping air, ignorant of neighbors
of wasps, the fart of an old truck.
people rush as the wind picks up
of a border helicopter slicing air.
a leaf of peace.
This is your ripening time
bring water—a small penance
all winter, restores calm,
One iris is blooming; the world is on fire.
when bloom is done, when we
You are not perfect. You bend
in this Texas wind. But beauty
by harbor and stealth, by fear and trembling.
or one of the flashy new varieties? You are
tubers of time, of memory of sun,
I unfurl the hose, bring the holy water:
in this supplicant turned steward,
This is Shelley Armitage for Radio Readers Book Bytes wishing you a beautiful day.
All poems are from A Habit of Landscape by Shelley Armitage and published by Finishing Line Press (https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/a-habit-of-landscape-by-shelley-armitage/ ) where the book can be ordered.