Travels et al

A Poem By Hannah D. // 3/29/2017

I grew up a nomad, wondering as I went,
With backpack over shoulder and shoes well spent.
I've seen Mesopotamian graveyards where dust fell from the Ishango Bone,
And trudged Mediterranean shores where Nap found the Rosetta Stone.

There's nothing like old Stonehenge at the midwinter heirophany,
Or late noons at Giza, shadows long like Modiglianis.
The snowflakes carved in Moscow are each a precious little fractal.
Who's tasted cacao where Aztecs toasted their own Quetzocoatl?

Let me be your tour guide when you must see an eclipse
Where Roman soldiers, millennia past, met one with quivering lips.
I can lead you down the halls where grand old Bach played a sforzando,
And show you bars where commoners danced to some ragtime scherzando.

Yet for all this I'd always have my stomach gripped acute;
For, while wandering thus, I want my home, square and minute:
A handsome country cottage on a land once some fresh homestead
Where a frontiersman's family toiled and slept and dined on cornbread.

There's gaunt and hardy phantoms known as Pinus sabiniana,
And when it's clear and moonless, we'll find Artemis and Andromeda.
With spring, the flowers burst into their complementary colors,
With snow, we'll read inside like interdisciplinary scholars.

I have witnessed Indian battles of opposing orthopraxies;
I have walked where Pharisees blew on their trumpets in hypocrisy;
I have trekked Great Plains once known by warriors on their appaloosas;
I've stayed in cities different as Hong Kong and Tuscaloosa.

But let me walk in thickets of buckbrush and manzanita
(Although a worldly snack will do, some hummus spread on pita)
My home is under oak trees donning Phoradendron villosum,
Living near fields, streams, foxes, deer, and that fiendish little possum.

A man, a woman, black chalk, a picture frame.
Two or three lines is all it takes
With peach and mint in ink as colored flakes.
The two are flat and moveless, dressed the same.
Then music chimes, some wild and untame
Swing song, quick-stepped, trumpet-led. It makes
The two alive, somehow. Her hand he takes.
Black lines are now silver sequins. It's plain
His gaze is set upon her. Kicking heels,
Big Band rhythms, swirls that syncopate -
They move together. Their swinging feet create
Music materialized - then volume sinks
And liveliness decays to line and ink.

It Seems Like A Decade Ago
Remember that day when
we had to help grandpa
clean out his old garage?
Dilapidated cardboard boxes
piled everywhere, some marked
"Fragile," others "Stuff."
Lindsay pulled up a Boston station
on her phone's Pandora app.
The things we found! A broken
wristwatch, some official looking
papers, a photograph of grandpa's
first car, brown-tinted and bent.
You pulled out a whole tray of
floppy disks. Mom smiled when you asked
what they were. Then Jamie came down
the driveway in his 2010 silver Nissan.
He'd brought home Chinese food
and we ate it, taking a break in the
garden - pagodas under rosebushes,
a pot of johnny-jump-ups on
that 3-ft tall ionic column.


So talented! Delicious and delightful.

Okay, by the time I got to "Who's tasted cacao where Aztecs toasted their own Quetzocoatl?" I had furious jealousy in me hahahahaha. Have you really been all these places?!!

This line was so FUN:
"There's gaunt and hardy phantoms known as Pinus sabiniana,
And when it's clear and moonless, we'll find Artemis and Andromeda."

We're totally soul-sisters when it comes to the balance between traveling and wanting to own land and a cottage...even down to the desire to own a place where people ate cornbread ;) I love that imagery.

The pita line made me giggle, too. And the fiendish little possum hahahahha I love how you throw such lightness in with such grandness. This cadence has the feeling of a "walking tune" to me... and as usual, it required a second read, just to enjoy the words I don't know. Words I don't know tantalize and delight me, and you just run with the rhymes, so happily and perfectly.

OH WAIT, there's more!

Oh, WOW, "Alive".

"With peach and mint in ink as colored flakes" -- ugh, gorgeous.

aa;lskdfjl;asjd;fasjdf THIS LINE:
"Swing song, quick-stepped, trumpet-led. It makes
The two alive, somehow. Her hand he takes."
Marvelous. I admire so much when people can break sentences in the middle of poetry lines and *actually* make it work. It just adds such unexpected zing and zip.

I love how you end back with them still again, "decayed" to ink.

I also loved the concrete imagery in "It Seems Like a Decade Ago" -- that was delighted. You painted a picture that I gulped down tastily.

You honestly are such a talented poet.

Also, welcome to Boston, my hometown :P Or welcome a decade ago.

Sarah Bethany | Sat, 04/01/2017

Oh my goodness thank you so

Oh my goodness thank you so much! You're so kind. : ) And haha no, I haven't been to all these places - I tend to write my poems in fiction, not autobiography (although most of the ideas are my own, like the love of both travel and home). I think that's because I have trouble sticking to a fictional novel long enough to see it through. : P

I love reading your comments, you mention things that I was exactly aiming for in my writing, so I'm happy to see it's actually been noticed!

Hannah D. | Sat, 04/01/2017

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

It's so great when you can

It's so great when you can find a reader who sees the things you want seen :D And maybe you will go all those places!!!

Sarah Bethany | Sat, 04/01/2017


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