by Julie Shavin
At the concert, I saw the tiniest girl
on violin and thought,
do we create children
so our instruments
will have something to play?
I had a piano before a child.
Did its little felt hammers
need something to tickle to giggles?
Did the guitar need something to strum
and demand the son?
Did the harp need some ringlet angel
Did the children come
because the instruments were lonely
when we were busy with fights
and gardens made of words?
If children are our immortality
then do we have them
so our songs of joy, our dirges
will have bodies to bow them
tune them to wind, water and sky?
All those boys and girls
and all in black
as if it were a funeral for us old
all in somber rhythm
like an accidental section
wired by design.
Sweet High Bath of Unknowing
by Julie Shavin
Bright sun, oblique sun of late afternoon
in a small alpine town,
white and tan horses grazing snow melt
and snow in lazing fields –
Could I remember more of childhood
or its sibling, youth,
I might know what it is about capturing
such as horses in a winter’s field,
paradox of fierce wan sun,
frail askew houses on tilting hills.
Will I give to darkness,
not a trace of warm breath muzzling
some sweet high bath of land
gently withering away sweet morsels
valiant, to meet the longing tongue?
Leaving, I saw again how day
is sniped by night in abandon,
fields become blind eyes, faces tipped to
cold moon cratered
with sequestered keepsakes of day.
Might one conjure what beckoned us
this time –
not the illness, as in those urgent, more
sober days –
but what continues to lure to alien terrain,
to genteel murderous horses,
clapboard houses blinking,
grand shadows of marginless mountains
and with such need to sing, to paint, to
the certain vex of nostalgia,
for what, exactly – can I, can one ever
Julie Shavin is an editor, writer and visual artist living in Colorado Springs. In 2011 and 2012, respectively, she was named Performance Poet of the Year and Page Poet, honors bestowed by the Pikes Peak Arts Council and a jury of her peers.
Send poetry submissions of 250 words or fewer to email@example.com.