Poetry Night / June 12, 2021

Illuminated poem by William Blake

A Celebration of Poetry and Poets

On June 12, 2021, the friends and members of the local group of the Section for Literary Arts and Humanities hosted the second Poets Salon of original poetry for 2021. We are fortunate that our local group includes creative writers.

Creative writing is a very important part of our Section work. In fact, as is well known, Rudolf Steiner appointed a poet, novelist, and playwright (Albert Steffen) to be the first leading representative of our Section called the Beautiful Sciences.

If the current group continues to attract the attendance and attention of poets and creative writers, we will continue to host salons of this nature in a rhythmic and lively manner.

With permission from the poets who read, here is a selection of the evening’s poetry.

All original poetry, translations, images and artwork are © by the named poets, printers, and artists, 2021.

_______

A World Without Roses?

by Gayle Davis

I could almost imagine the form,
conjure a word picture,
evoke the extravagance.

Layers of soft abundance –
see how their green-bud presentation cups fade,
curled back in modest obsequiousness.
Blossom’s such a worn-out word
but Glory betrays the oath – spoils the surprise.

More difficult –
the fresh stillness of soft petals
implores (impels?) you
to eschew the dumb clumsiness of fingers.
Offer them your cheeks –
sense
the tender message.

But the fragrance…
I stumble, cowed by
distilled joy,
sweetness without cloy –
perfume a rough expletive
for such
delicacy.

And yonder?
all words
fail
for
a
dark
cross
bereft.

_______

Mocking Bird Poem

by Dan Davis

when the dew is on the rose

a breeze comes along,
brings with it its thirst,
the mockingbird above
sings his many songs,

twirls up the air off his perch,
                    and
wings away his wordless verse.

where goes the wind goes he
yet lets rest his mighty soul’s
     myriad mirrored melody
                with thee:
     all be right with thee.

hole in a window, hole in a roof—
              makes he holy
       what house ever he search.
   frees he, be praised, his songs—
      makes all space around him
          he the master,
             his the hymn—
  he makes holy like a garden:
            all such air his church
                      within
  where all may deeply drink:
      his soul made thine.

_______

A Translated Poem by Rilke

Read by Marion Donehower

Translated by Bruce Donehower

Vergiß, vergiß und laß uns jetzt nur dies erleben, wie die Sterne durch geklärten Nachthimmel dringen; wie der Mond die Gärten voll übersteigt. Wir fühlten längst schon, wies spiegelnder wird im Dunkel; wie ein Schein entsteht, ein weißer Schatten in dem Glanz der Dunkelheit. Nun aber laß uns ganz hinübertreten in die Welt hinein die monden ist—

— Rainer Maria Rilke, 1909

Forget, forget and let us now experience only this,
how stars
penetrate through clarified night sky;
how moon shines serene above the gardens.
We felt long ago, and it becomes clear in darkness,
shining and arising,
white shadow, darkness shining . . .
But now let us step completely
over into
world
completely moon—

_______

Two Poems from the book

“Dancing to the Music, a Story about You and I and All That Is” / A sequence of 89 poems.

by Nicholas Morrow

XII

The Magic Carpet

Be still and silent,
listening for the voice,
alert for the hush and presence,
for words with bright meanings
suspended on the levity of light.

In being human we experience Joy,
Love, and Beauty in the Here and Now.
Singularity and Duality is conscious through us
of every quanta in the field of thought
and every emotion in the sea of delight.

This beautiful body and brain,
lit up with frequency and vibration,
sending and receiving,
bridge the apparent
uniting reality and fantasy,
playing like children in a magical garden.

Our Balls of Light carry our signatures
through the dimensions of space and time,
commanding a place at the helm
of every atom in this made up world.

Have you found a place to play,
blending fantasy and reality,
or are you far beyond such limitation
on a journey through paradise,
checking in to see if the ice is melting?

As you enter the rabbit hole,
embodied as a light form of radiant beauty,
look around you.

Take in everything.

Let the fragrance lift you
and the music carry you.

Become aware of other light forms,
presences, lovers, relations,
merging with you,
dancing as only light can dance.

See the source of this light.
Become it!

Let the Magic Carpet Ride begin!

_______

The Magic Carpet Ride

Here we are, You and I,
on a magic carpet ride.
What we see and where we fly
is the child of our imagination.

On rays of shimmering light
as thoughts we abide,
and with clear intent create
a wormhole to paradise.

We are luminous spheres,
shimmering orbs with purpose dreaming,
our gossamer veils growing thin,
in celebration merging.

You and I, forever lovers,
tend the hearth and sacred fire,
drinking wine by candlelight,
teeming with anticipation and desire.

Quantum states and mystic journeys
to the vast unknown,
keep us busy exploring beauty,
bringing vitality to radiant forms.

What remains with completion
but stillness and vast repose,
as the carpet settles somewhere,
to make the mysterious known.

The journey begins in search of the prize,
residing in the heart’s holy shrine.
Presence and awareness we devise
to bridge the abyss to the divine.

Nothing is the same! Everything is reversed!
In is out and up is down,
caught at the crossing and frozen in time,
nothing visual, not a sound.

Then music resounds, sustained on the wind,
faint and enticing from a distant shore,
where entities merge free of division,
and hearts are an open door.

We dress in wonder, willingness, and wit,
exploring the nuances of life,
and upon the magic carpet sit
with a vivid imagination
and unwritten script.

_______

All original poetry, translations, images and artwork are © by the named poets, printers, and artists, 2021.

_______

2 Poems by Kirk Ridgeway

Read by his sister Cheryl Martine

Annunciation

I approach the kneeling figure
Step softly lest I disturb the man
gazing westward toward home,
his body overwhelmed and humbled
before the fog shrouded sunset
of Iona’s fierce Atlantic coast.

Ocean, wind, birdsong
seems strangely mute
In this desperate silence
I somehow understand
the man hears the ocean’s voice
as his own voice crashing against
the walls in the cave of his chest.

I want to step closer
I want to touch his shoulder
I want to lay my hand gently on his head
I want to bless him
but stop, stand silently behind him
his body bowed now trembling.

I know what he is thinking, feeling
an annunciation of something
unformed yet forming
his vision forever changed.

The solemnity overwhelms me
I back away, turn, look once more
leave him there in his becoming
knowing one day he will approach
his own kneeling figure
gazing toward home.

_______

WALK WITH A FEATHER

I found the feather of a hawk
and walked with it.

I felt its edge cut into wind
lifting and falling
with each twist I gave
I felt its weight become weightless
when the pitch was just right
and the air flowed smoothly.

For an hour I played
and became the bird
sensing each change of now
responding to each new movement
feeling the pleasure of feathers.

Now I watch the hawk
circling, swooping, gliding
I watch him adjust his wings
flap to change his course
float on wind.

Because I walked with a feather
I know the feeling of flight
the hawk
the wind

Because I sit on this log
silently watching
and alone
I know these things.

_______

Two Poems Typeset & Printed by the Poet

With Illustrations by the Poet

By Bruce Donehower

3 Poems by Peter Rennick

Advisory Valentine

You need someone who brings the music
To your life who forces you to dance
Even once in a while when you’re alone
Or stretched out on the floor
Like Mahler after listening to Satie
You need cornets in the background
Announcing the arrival of a new century
In your life a new bar mitzva
Another quinceanera last graduate
Of joy and silent astonishment you need
To settle down with your multiple selves
And work and cook for them
You need a wedding of vast proportions
To which everyone is invited

Our Lives Valentine

When I look back the past
Is like a play being rehearsed
By actors just coming into their lines
Every day learning the smallest gestures
Aiming for the center of the story
That stunning moment when
Reality descends and turns
To look at you and me
Sitting tenth row to the right
How can we explain ourselves
I mean I remember we slept and walked
For a long time we talked on the beach
Watching the boats in the glittering sun
And accidentally ran into this theater
Where they happened to be playing our lives

Word’s Valentine

The early theories of language
Proved poetic in the wrong sense
Perhaps they did not love it enough
To get beyond the fanciful to facts
Like the fact that poetry is real
Practical knowledge of the world 
We begin to grasp its prophetic
Implications in nursery rhymes
And the savagery of heroic couplets
Even as children to play at war
Even to believe in glory
But it’s always a sense for language
That saves us in the end
Word given and word returned

 

All original poetry, translations, images and artwork are © by the named poets, printers, and artists, 2021.

Written by Bruce Donehower
June 12, 2021