“The Art of Blessing the Day” by Marge Piercy

The Art of Blessing the Day

This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter my skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your plashing.
In the morning the world is peeled to shining.

This is the blessing for sun after long rain:
Now everything shakes itself free and rises.
The trees are bright as pushcart ices.
Every last lily opens its satin thighs.
The bees dance and roll in pollen
and the cardinal at the top of the pine
sings at full throttle, fountaining.

This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.

This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.

This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let’s not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is real as pain.

The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends’
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.

But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.

Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.
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always on the outside

the dishwasher blasted on, heat and water and sound…white noise and clean water jetting against the dishes until their bones were bleached, picked clean and dry.

in the kitchen, the sound of women laughing, easy-talking and including one another wafted thru the air, and reached back back back to me there, in the dish room…and outside.

outside
always outside

there was one who used to talk to me a lot…but got too naked a view of the broken tumblage within me, the shards and jagged edges of my soul and the way that my emotions (amplified by brain trauma) are at times a runaway train with no options but the wall at the end and the carnage of the full speed collision…and so she pulled back…

way back so that she does not even greet me by name anymore.  just the casual nice-nice.

i brought it on myself, i guess.  i don’t have the cotillion dress manners and savoir faire…i am all “big-girl” hips and belly and shoulders and thighs and voice torn by testosterone and ruined…

they will never really know how outside i am, and how could they?  they have no clue there is a side known as out cus they are in.  always inside.

but i listened, savored, much like a peasant would look on from afar at revelries in the distant high castle, and felt good that there was happiness and joy in the world.

but i missed my quiet and solitary kitchbah turned loud and crowded kitchen…

and then i heard Mama whisper to me…it is the lowest place…the place of least honor…it is the loneliest place that She haunts, and it is there She takes up residence.

and so i embrace it, and hang on.

i give thanks that i am here…and can hear…and can bask in the glow of the bright suns around me.FB_IMG_1447349130732

 

That Never-forgetful Wind

some say the wind forgets what it touches,
forgets what it tastes, what it pushes
but I say the wind in the branches and rushes
and rippling the water with fingers and tongue
never ever forgets anything.

in the air that it pushes are draughts and elixers
the mineral walls that it scratches and itches
are under its fingernails rakey, ah trickster
wind tasting and touching and saving and twitching
and never forgetting a thing.

and I find in me a wind, echoing that one
that tosses the stars around like they are dust
and my wind finds everyplace, my every cranny done
sparkly or plain or shallow, it simply must
always remember whatever it knows.

some say the wind forgets
but I know different.
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