Note: These poems are from a manuscript in progress, JERSEY ODES. My last published book was ALL WE HAVE IS OUR VOICE, Dos Madres Press. My inspiration for these poems is New Jersey where I have lived all of my life.
When I pause in front of his golden likeness
in my garden, I feel he understands
my anger, my wounds. His right hand
holds a begging bowl.
His left hand is raised with patience.
He helps me to hold on to things I love:
heron standing on one foot in bay water,
bike wheels, handlebars, straw basket.
curve of Zihuatanejo‘s bay, Dublin pubs,
the Jersey shore where the Atlantic held me.
No organ, no sermon for this woman
who holds absence in her heart,
a small god. The Buddha looks at me
as if he knows who I am.
Ode to Myself
Summers at the Jersey shore,
I dove and rose in ocean spray,
one with the light.
Beyond the breakers,
I turned on my back and floated.
The sea held me,
poured sorrow away,
the current endlessly repeated
I love you! I love you!
Now I climb the stairs,
holding tight to the rail.
One day I’m a girl;
the next, a woman
who can’t hold a tune.
I need the old songs:
Ah! Sweet mystery of life
and Yes sir, that’s my baby.
Voice tinny, I’m mouthing
lyrics that have come back —
prayers for myself.
This morning I’m almost happy,
smiling at clouds
that zig-zag across the sky.
I enter a new season,
moon in place,
future a star-strewn sky.
©2019 Carole Stone
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