Monday, September 9, 2013

Gleaming Spires...

So I'm in an advanced poetry class this semester. We were assigned to pick one of the five or so poems we read during the first class and write a poem inspired by that...and this line "the spires of that gleaming kiln" stuck with me, kept coming back to my mind over and over, much as it did to Gretel in the poem "Gretel in Darkness" by Louise Gluk. Anyway, here is what I've got so far. I foolishly volunteered to be one of the three people who's poem will be workshopped today in class so I'm a bit nervous, but on the other hand I'm pretty excited too. I'm not feeling that great about this poem, other than there are some strong images in there, for me at least, and I am interested to see if any of them got across.

Also I haven't thought of a title yet.

We circled up as the smoke rose
above gleaming spires of fire,
burning logs spelling out our names
with thrown sparks and embers.

Our names were free,
set free, let loose,
we loosed ourselves into the wind.
We followed each other,
the spires of that gleaming kiln followed.

I can’t think well enough
of that day turned into night,
the night that seemed to last all day.
Strangers sharing substances unnamed
and nameless—new communities
joined for twenty-four hours and no more.

Looking at glass crafts—seeing the spires
of that gleaming kiln through mind’s eye—
we connected to each other, felt our hands
without looking, and held conversations
without speaking.

I close my eyes and see spires of smoke and light
rising up. They seem to go on and on without end,
touching the clouds that shield the stars
from our view. This memory has happened
so many times I can’t tell if it’s from last weekend
out in Idaho wilderness with a few hundred friends
and family gathering to buy, sell, trade
items and stories, or if it’s from any of the Labor Day
weekends spent at the Gorge with thousands
of fans, all gathered to see DMB play
on the cliff’s edge—lights and fog
filling the stage and floating ever up and out.

Lights and smoke draw us in, moth-like,
and we are enchanted. We keep these memories
the way smoke and lights kept us close
during the dark nights.

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