Bio Note: Buddhist master and teacher Jack Kornfield urges us to ask “Am I following a path with heart?” These poems speak to that question, and hopefully, each in its own way reflect the concerns of September’s optional theme, “A Time to Reap.” Most recently, two of my poems are included in a new anthology The Power of the Pause from Wising Up Press. My article entitled “Elusive Beauty” appears in the Summer 2022 issue of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society of America.
I Am a Woman
not in a day but always, the way a cat is also a kitten until the day it dies. When the writing on the men’s-room walls forgets the female beyond the forcing and filling of apertures, I am a woman. Spirits smashed and picked out in the back of taxi cabs, bodies to the highest bidder, femurs spread stirrup fashion on a cold steel table for insides to be read as if the answers to your questions might be discovered by an examining room strobe. I’ve survived the men’s wars and the being torn apart, outside and in, and still wish to make something: a meeting place where we all can dance, like here, in this poem. I am a woman fireproof, seduced by no one but the waves and moon.
Originally published in The Dreamer’s Anthology (Beautiful Cadaver Project, Pittsburgh, 2019)
On an Autumn day admire the disarray of a garden grown wild: once a formal circle of roses and crew cut grass now gone long and bushy, a mad man’s mane spotted with nosegays of wild flowers. Soldier rows of hedges are invaded by clematis and crimson ivy, yet I’ve no heart for taming. Such unruliness matches my soul, and so does, on this first frost morning, one white rose growing among the weeds.
Originally published in ART/LIFE, Volume 13, Number 22 (March, 1993)
©2022 Arlene Levine
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