zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word
lizardek

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POETRY THURSDAY

I love Marge Piercy with a huge, fierce love. If you've never read her, you're missing out. The poem below is a long-time favorite that gives me shivers every time I read it, because the imagery is so powerful. It makes me remember what it is to fall in love, and how it is in the beginning; the huge heat that is generated. Can you see the speaker? Glowing as she walks? When I read it, I feel warmer. I put my hands out and hold them close to the flames.

I Am A Light You Could Read By
by Marge Piercy


A flame from each finger,
my hands are candleabra,
my hair stands in a torch.
Out of my mouth a long flame hovers.
Can't anyone see, handing me a newspaper?
Can't anyone see, stamping my book overdue?
I walk blazing along Sixth Avenue,
burning gas blue I buy subway tokens,
a bouquet of coals, I cross the bridge.
Invisible I singe strangers and pass.
Now I am on your street.
How your window flickers.
I come bringing my burning body
like an armful of tigerlilies,
like a votive lantern,
like a roomful of tassels and leopards and grapes
for you to come into
dance in my burning
and we will flare up together like stars
and fall to sleep.


Quarrel in the berry patch
by Marge Piercy


I gave you the cherries this year,
the mulberries, you gorgeous beasties
orange and lemon like the bells
of St. Clemons, wherever that is,
Baltimore dashing orioles.

Why do you curse and torment
me, picking black currants?
You can’t have everything.
The yellow female squats over
my head, threatening.

The male twitters and swoops.
Now the catbirds too mew
dire promises of revenge.
Okay, the black currants are mine,
but we’ll split the blueberries.

This is my land, I say, no
different than the boast of Mr.
orange chest from his hanging
nest in the weeping beech
and whose tree is it?

I planted it, I water it,
the squirrels fuck in it,
always somebody has a nest
as it plunges deep in the earth:
its owner, its lover, its end.
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