Robert Bly

Three poems from his collection, Morning Poems

___________________________________

Making Smoke

 
There was a boy who never got enough.
It’s not unusual. Something
In him longed to find the big
Mother, and he leaped into the sea.
 
It took a while, but a whale
Agreed to swallow him.
He knew it was wrong, but once
Past the baleen, it was too late.
 
It’s OK. There’s a curved library
Inside, and those high Ladders.
People take requests.
It’s like the British Museum.
 
One needs a fire to get out.
Maybe it was the romance
Novels he burned. Smoke curls
Up the whale’s gorge. She coughs,
 
And that’s it. He swims to shore;
It’s a fishing town in Alaska.
He calls his father. “I’m here.
Let me tell you a story.”
 

____________________________________

The Old Woman Frying Perch

 
Have you heard about the boy who walked by
The black water? I won’t say much more.
Let’s wait a few years. It wanted to be entered.
Sometimes a man walks by a pond, and a hand
Reaches out and pulls him in. There was no
Malice, exactly. The pond was lonely, or needed
Calcium. Bones would do. What happened then?
 
It was a little like the night wind, which is soft,
And moves slowly, sighing like an old woman
In her kitchen late at night, moving pans
About, lighting a fire, frying some perch for the cat.
 
For Donald Hall
 

_______________________________

The Ocean Rising And Falling

 
Each fall it rains a lot in the northern woods.
Many parts of our brain hear the rain;
And one part says, “Oh good. Let’s sleep.”
Another says, “A visitor is coming. It’s
A sign!” The oldest brain says: “If that person
Doesn’t look like us, we’ll stone him.” I guess
It’s family. The cedar trees mutter,
“About time.” Some forest streams
Are amazed to be noticed. Rivers, the big ones, are sure
They deserve it. Only the ocean pays no
Attention, being past all that. The ocean just
Goes up and down saying, “I need no more.”
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s