Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Fav for Elise

How to Be Eaten by a Lion 
by Michael Johnson 

If you hear the rush, the swish of mottled sand 
and dust kicked up under the striving paws, 
its cessation, falling into the sharp and brittle grass 
like the tick of a tin roof under sun 
or hint of rain that nightly wakes you, 
try to stand your ground. Try not to scream, 
for it devalues you. That tawny head and burled 
mange, the flattened ears of its sleek engine 
will seem only a blur, a shock, a shadow, 
across your neck that leaves you cold. 
It may seem soft, barely a blow, 
more like a falling, an exquisite giving 
of yourself to the ground, made numb 
to those eyes. It may be easier just to watch, 
for fighting will only prolong things, 
and you will have no time to notice the sky, 
the texture of dust, what incredible leaves 
the trees have. Instead, focus on your life, 
its crimson liquor he grows drunk on. 
Notice the way the red highlights his face, 
how the snub nose is softened, the lips made 
fuller; notice his deft musculature, his rapture, 
because in all creation there is not art 
to compare with such elegance, such simplicity. 
Notice this and remember it, 
this way in which you became beautiful 
when you thought there was nothing more.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Favorite Poems/Collections

Hi, all. I'd love to hear about your favorite poems or collections of poems. Mine is The Shadow of Sirius, by W.S. Merwin. I'm drawn to different poems in it at different times, but this one remains one of my very favorites.


The stars emerge one
by one into the names
that were last found for them
far back in other
darkness no one remembers
by watchers whose own
names were forgotten
later int he dark
and as the night deepens
other lumens begin
to appear around them
as though they were shining
through the same instant
from a single depth of age
though the time between
each one of them
and its nearest neighbor
contains in its span
the whole moment of the earth
turning in a light
that is not its own
with the complete course
of life upon it
born to brief reflection
recognition and anguish
from one cell evolving
to remember daylight
laughter and distant music

--W.S. Merwin