Just now a kind of golden dust settles over everything

Dear Readers, Friends,

Thanks again for joining me during another National Poetry Month. I hope that some of these words I’ve shared have helped bring a moment of beauty, solace, reflection, or hope into your lives and that the year ahead is brighter than this surreal stretch of time swirling around us. Here’s one final poem to savor by the great Linda Pastan (1932-).

Special thanks again to one of my dearest friends and kindred spirits, Kristina Closs, who brought a whole other layer to the poems this month with her beautiful and thoughtful illustrations. If you enjoyed her work, please visit her Etsy store where you can purchase prints–or contact her for custom commissions, which she will gladly work on with you.

Take good care, everyone.

Natalie

sugar bowl surrounded by gold leaves
Art by Kristina Closs

“What We Fear Most” 

for R after the accident

We have been saved one more time
from what we fear most.
Let us remember this moment.
Let us forget it if we can.
Just now a kind of golden dust
settles over everything:
the tree outside the window,
though it is not fall;
the cracked sugar bowl,
so carefully mended once.
This light is not redemption,
just the silt of afternoon sun
on an ordinary day,
unlike any other.

The circular afternoon is now a bay where the world in stillness rocks.

Image-1.jpeg
My dear friends’ cat Hudson contemplating downtown Seattle. 2012 (photo by me)

“Between Going and Staying”

by Octavio Paz (1914-1998)

Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.

The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can’t be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.

translated by Eliot Weinberger

Your hand has found mine.


“Especially in the Late Afternoon”
     by Jason Shinder (1955- )

The warm air makes us
    different
        from the way

we are.
    We go deep
        in the long grasses and ferns

at the edge
    of an open field.
        Is it knowing

what to do
    with the long-stemmed lilac
        that counts?

It’s dark.
    Or it will be.
        Some trees perfectly still,

which only this morning
    thrashed about
        in a storm.

Your hand
    has found mine.
        Have we ever arrived

in the arms of someone
    who wasn’t lost
         from the start?

-from Among Women