Frightened into Poetry

 

1.

Everything jumps when the car pulls up

Grasshoppers waist-high, dust like the sun

Leaps up.

 

2.

Tonight my

white wall

smells like a lost prairie.

 

3.

Eggs. All the eggs in the world.

 

4.

Inside this yawn: a small pain,

a button on a single thread,

a just-licked stamp, Pegasus rising.

 

5.

Father to mother:

Don't go putting ideas

Into the boy's head.

 

6.

The best smell in the universe:

my red-dirt sweat shoes

blazing in the corner like two queer planets.

 

7.

Never write a poem with darkness

With darkness in it

I mean

 

8.

Since Lorca invented these crickets and ants

I keep to the sidewalk

And speak only when spoken.

 

9.

Look at this shirt - my shoes -

the hair on my arms - Look at my eyes.

That's all you get. Try to explain it.

 

1988


The title comes from the first stanza of "A Postscript to the Berkeley Renaissance" by Jack Spicer:

What have I lost? When shall I start to sing

A loud and idiotic song that makes

The heart rise frightened into poetry

Like birds disturbed?


All poems by Br. Tom Murphy, O. Carm.

My Poems

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