Ruth Daigon: Two Poems
Stained Glass Cantata | Storied Lives
Stained Glass Cantata
I want Promethean heat of summers
and the future stretching like a field with no fences.
I want dreams leaking into real time
turning darkness into a treasury of light.
I want to shut out the yammer and slam around us:
gossip stretching its three necks,
tongues humming like locusts
during the first Pharonic plague.
I want to shape a space for calm
and stand kneedeep in Mendelssohn and Mozart
singing stained glass cantatas
under halos of the moon.
I want to step out of windows
and drown in fire bursts of flowers
or strip the fuzz from the peach
and tongue the blush on the flesh below.
I want the feeling
that we're quite ourselves again
resilient as earth
and moving like snails in slow motion lust
deep in the expectations of love.
Snow is a kindness to the old.
It covers the bones of winter.
Well-worn paths become sudden-new
and strangers speak to one another
convinced that somewhere they were real.
Memory releases earlier worlds
innocent of endings. Sound
gathers on horizon's spine.
Chords of sunlight sing the morning in
and the skin of earth is beautiful.
As the traveller moon
floats into view
nights are long and longer
than the long wind
sweeping over prairies
and wind has no history.
Moment by moment
the old are moving out
one leaves soon another sooner
stepping lightly lightly
to taste the dark particular.
Voices hum in the wind
and the old do nothing.
They lean upwards
laying secrets bare to the moon
to the snow falling in alphabets of silence
and the small mercies of the stars.
Ruth Daigon is a singer/editor/performance/poet. Her books include The Moon Inside (Gravity/Newton's Baby Press, 2000), Between One Future And The Next (Papier-Mache Press, 1995). A forthcoming poetry collection, Stained Glass Cantatas (Cedar Hill Publications) will appear early in 2002 as well as a forthcoming chapbook, The Greatest Hits of Ruth Daigon 1970-2000, from Pudding House, as part of their Gold Chapbook Series. Her chapbook, Payday At The Triangle, (Small Poetry Press Select Poets Series), based on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, 1911, was published in 2001. It is available from Small Poetry Press, P.O. 5342, Concord, CA 95424 or Ruth Daigon, 86 Sandpiper Circle, Corte Madera, CA 94925. Single copy $9.00 (includes postage).
Her prizes include the Greensboro National Poetry Prize 2000 (Greensboro Arts Council), The Ann Stanford Poetry Award (University of Southern California, 1997), The Eve of St. Agnes Award (Negative Capability, 1993, 1994), and Kimera's chapbook prize (to be anthologized in hardcopy in February 2001). Her latest publications include ForPoetry, Conspire, Poetry Repair Shop, Ste. 101, Kota Press, Perihelion, Zuzu's Petals, WebDelSol, Kimera, Switched-On Gutenberg, Heaven Bone, Maelstrom, Southern California Anthology, A Room of One's Own (Canada), The MacGuffin, Kansas Quarterly, Alaska Review, Poet Lore, Cumberland Poetry Review, Bellingham Review, and the Chester H. Jones Anthology.