Interlude: Other People's Poetry

When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

photograph © Victoria Smith


Good News, Everyone!

Big news, too: in collaboration with Grant of the Guild of Scientific Troubadours, I've set some of my poetry to music, and may even be dabbling in songwriting. Our first team effort is a spoken-word version of "Watasenia Scintillans Addresses the New Graduates."

Watasenia Scintillans Addresses the New Graduates

She clutches the podium with translucent arms.
She is older than her picture.
She closes her eyes slowly.
We all lean in.
"Life…" she says, tasting each costly letter,

"Life is short. Light your whole self up
every chance you get."

You can download the track over at Bandcamp if you're so inclined. Grant and I (collectively now known as Squid Pro Crow) have all sorts of good stuff in the works, so do stay tuned.

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