Saturday, April 16, 2011

Salamander watching

I have been reading a lot of poetry this month, often looking for poems short enough to post here. Of the shorter ones, very often I find they are thoughtful descriptions of a moment, something seen or noticed. I suppose this kind of poem has a category name but I don't know what it is. I think it's the kind of poem most often written by people who write occasional poems as I mostly write -- we just don't want to forget something we observed, sometimes just what it looked or felt like, sometimes the lesson it seem to embody. I've been writing a sort of poem [sort of because I don't know if they are poems or just thoughts and observations] each evening this month. Usually they are this sort of thing, mostly a way to find a few words to relate a small bit of the day.

Here is Hayden Carruth's "Forty-Five"

When I was forty-five I lay for
springtime water, and and watched
the salamanders coupling, how they drifted lazily
their little hands floating before them,
aimlessly in and out of the shadows, fifteen
or twenty of them, and suddenly two
would dart together and clasp
one another belly to belly
the way we do, tender and vigorous, and then
would let go and drift away
at peace, lazily,
in the green pool that was their world
and for a while was mine.

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