Monday, May 30, 2005

My Daughter Is A Photograph

A hand held on green moss, she waits
this white limb, this ivory lizard on a gallery wall.

There was a woman I once knew, an artist
who covered her children with leaves
photographed them naked in mud
and as they grew
her audience complained--
a young penis turned to bark.

Is it not the same with us?

My small kitten, my wet love.
The one who sprang from these legs
wrapped in the branches
and twigs of my motherwant.

Daughter, you are the shape of my pocket
carried like stone through the mud of my life.

These are the images I create
photographs taken
as innocence slips by.


Emily Lloyd said...
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LKD said...

I hear Sexton. "My small kitten, my wet love" reminds me of Sexton calling her daughter her stringbean.

You realize, of course, that your poem ends on "life," right?

It's the best poem I've read all day. It's my "now I can call this day a day" poem.

Thanks for this, T.

Oh, and that photo of the hand on moss, just like the photo of the 2 girls at the sea's edge, would make a s'wonderful cover photo for your book.

early hours of sky said...

Laurel first you call me Stern and now Sexton, I either have to marry you or pay you large sums of money if this keeps up;)

Emily, I love this quote, what poem is it from?

Emily Lloyd said...

H.D.'s "Eros"

Where is he taking us
now that he has turned back?

Where will this take us,
this fever,
spreading into light?

Nothing we have ever felt,
nothing we have dreamt,
or conjured in the night
or fashioned in loneliness,
can equal this.

Where is he taking us,
now that he has turned back?

My mouth is wet with your life,
my eyes blinded with your face,
a heart itself which feels
the intimate music.

My mind is caught,
dimmed with it,
(where is love taking us?)
my lips are wet with your life.

In my body were pearls cast,
shot with Ionian tints, purple,
vivid through the white.

Keep love and he wings
with his bow,
up, mocking us,
keep love and he taunts us
and escapes.

Keep love and he sways apart
in another world,
outdistancing us.

Keep love and he mocks,
ah, bitter and sweet,
your sweetness is more cruel
than your hurt.

Honey and salt,
fire burst from the rocks
to meet fire
spilt from Hesperus.

Fire darted aloft and met fire,
and in that moment
love entered us.

Could Eros be kept,
he was prisoned long since
and sick with imprisonment,
could Eros be kept,
others would have taken him
and crushed out his life.

Could Eros be kept,
we had sinned against the great god,
we too might have prisoned him outright.

Could Eros be kept,
nay, thank him and the bright goddess
that he left us.

Ah love is bitter and sweet,
but which is more sweet
the bitterness or the sweetness,
none has spoken it.

Love is bitter,
but can salt taint sea-flowers,
grief, happiness?

Is it bitter to give back
love to your lover if he crave it?

Is it bitter to give back
love to your lover if he wish it
for a new favourite,
who can say,
or is it sweet?

Is it sweet to possess utterly,
or is it bitter,
bitter as ash?

I had thought myself frail,
a petal
with light equal
on leaf and under-leaf.

I had thought myself frail;
a lamp,
shell, ivory or crust of pearl,
about to fall shattered,
with flame spent.

I cried:

"I must perish,
I am deserted in this darkness,
an outcast, desperate,"
such fire rent me with Hesperus,

Then the day broke.

What need of a lamp
when day lightens us,
what need to bind love
when love stands
with such radiant wings over us?

What need--
yet to sing love,
love must first shatter us.

LKD said...


Where oh where is your blog?

Blair said...

I first found your blog when searching for things about crows... I am not sure why I stayed and blogrolled you, something was profoundly interesting to me...
Anyway, I am not a huge fan of poetry, but that poem was wonderful and I am glad I read it.
Thank you.

early hours of sky said...

Blair, I think that is the nicest thing anyone can say about a poem. Thank you.

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