Friday, February 21, 2014

Poems about Home: Playlist for February 21, 2014




The Props assist the House (729)

By  Emily Dickinson    


The Props assist the House


Until the House is built


And then the Props withdraw


And adequate, erect,


The House support itself


And cease to recollect


The Augur and the Carpenter –


Just such a retrospect


Hath the perfected Life –


A Past of Plank and Nail


And slowness – then the scaffolds drop


Affirming it a Soul –
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Alleluia & Fugue for String Orchestra by Alan Hovhaness


Home Fire

By  Linda Parsons Marion  

Whether on the boulevard or gravel backroad,


I do not easily raise my hand to those who toss


up theirs in anonymous hello, merely to say


“I’m passing this way.” Once out of shyness, now


reluctance to tip my hand, I admire the shrubbery


instead. I’ve learned where the lines are drawn


and keep the privet well trimmed. I left one house


with toys on the floor for another with quiet rugs


and a bed where the moon comes in. I’ve thrown


myself at men in black turtlenecks only to find


that home is best after all. Home where I sit


in the glider, knowing it needs oil, like my own


rusty joints. Where I coax blackberry to dogwood


and winter to harvest, where my table is clothed


in light. Home where I walk out on the thin page


of night, without waving or giving myself away,


and return with my words burning like fire in the grate.     

REFLECTIVE MUSIC:  Andante cantabile by P. Tchaikovsky

     
        



Home Movies: A Sort of Ode

By  Mary Jo Salter                       


Because it hadn't seemed enough,


after a while, to catalogue


more Christmases, the three-layer cakes


ablaze with birthday candles, the blizzard


Billy took a shovel to,


Phil's lawnmower tour of the yard,


the tree forts, the shoot-'em-ups


between the boys in new string ties


and cowboy hats and holsters,


or Mother sticking a bow as big


as Mouseketeer ears in my hair,



my father sometimes turned the gaze


of his camera to subjects more


artistic or universal:


long closeups of a rose's face;


a real-time sunset (nearly an hour);


what surely were some brilliant autumn


leaves before their colors faded


to dry beige on the aging film;


a great deal of pacing, at the zoo,


by polar bears and tigers caged,


he seemed to say, like him.



What happened between him and her


is another story. And just as well


we have no movie of it, only


some unforgiving scowls she gave


through terrifying, ticking silence


when he must have asked her (no


sound track) for a smile.


Still, what I keep yearning for


isn't those generic cherry


blossoms at their peak, or the brave


daffodil after a snowfall,



it's the re-run surprise


of the unshuttered, prefab blanks


of windows at the back of the house,


and how the lines of aluminum


siding are scribbled on with meaning


only for us who lived there;


it's the pair of elephant bookends


I'd forgotten, with the upraised trunks


like handles, and the books they meant


to carry in one block to a future


that scattered all of us.



And look: it's the stoneware mixing bowl


figured with hand-holding dancers


handed down so many years


ago to my own kitchen, still


valueless, unbroken. Here


she's happy, teaching us to dye


the Easter eggs in it, a Grecian


urn of sorts near which—a foster


child of silence and slow time


myself—I smile because she does


and patiently await my turn.     
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Lyric Pieces by Edvard Grieg


Going Home: New Orleans

By  Sheryl St. Germain   


for my grandmother, Theresa Frank


Some slow evenings when the light hangs late and stubborn in the sky,


gives itself up to darkness slowly and deliberately, slow cloud after slow cloud,


slowness enters me like something familiar,


and it feels like going home.



It’s all there in the disappearing light:


all the evenings of slow sky and slow loving, slow boats on sluggish bayous;


the thick-middled trees with the slow-sounding names—oak, mimosa, pecan, magnolia;


the slow tree sap that sticks in your hair when you lie with the trees;


and the maple syrup and pancakes and grits, the butter melting


slowly into and down the sides like sweat between breasts of sloe-eyed strippers;


and the slow-throated blues that floats over the city like fog;


and the weeping, the willows, the cut onions, the cayenne, the slow-cooking beans with marrow-thick gravy;


and all the mint juleps drunk so slowly on all the slow southern porches,


the bourbon and sugar and mint going down warm and brown, syrup and slow;


and all the ice cubes melting in all the iced teas,


all the slow-faced people sitting in all the slowly rocking rockers;


and the crabs and the shrimp and crawfish, the hard shells


slowly and deliberately and lovingly removed, the delicate flesh


slowly sucked out of heads and legs and tails;


and the slow lips that eat and drink and love and speak


that slow luxurious language, savoring each word like a long-missed lover;


and the slow-moving nuns, the black habits dragging the swollen ground;


and the slow river that cradles it all, and the chicory coffee


that cuts through it all, slow-boiled and black as dirt;


and the slow dreams and the slow-healing wounds and the slow smoke of it all


slipping out, ballooning into the sky—slow, deliberate, and magnificent.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: A Dear Old Southland by Turner Layton, performed by Allen Toussaint






Goin’ Home

By William Arms Fisher

Going home, going home,
I'm just going home.
Quiet-like, slip away-
I'll be going home.
It's not far, just close by;
Jesus is the Door;
Work all done, laid aside,
Fear and grief no more.
Friends are there, waiting now.
He is waiting, too.
See His smile! See His hand!
He will lead me through.

Morning Star lights the way;
Restless dream all done;
Shadows gone, break of day,
Life has just begun.
Every tear wiped away,
Pain and sickness gone;
Wide awake there with Him!
Peace goes on and on!
Going home, going home,
I'll be going home.
See the Light! See the Sun!
I'm just going home.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Adagio from "New World" Symphony, by Antonin Dvorak

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