Monday, January 4, 2010

The South: Another dedication

Disclaimer one: I don't write that much poetry, and I sort of cringe whenever I do. I don't think I'm particularly good at it, and I usually feel really embarrassed to share it with other people, and in general I like to leave its creation to the greats (or at least my favorites): cummings, Rilke and Eliot. But sometimes I feel inspired to write a poem, and when that happens, I do.
Disclaimer two: I have never published a poem on my blog. This is the first time this has happened, and will probably be the last.
Disclaimer three: I wrote this on the plane from New York to Alabama, when I was depressed and pining away for something that turned out to be living in my own heart. I missed home, yes, but I also was starved for a love I thought I could only find in the South; turned out, it was inside me all along. I read back over these words and they seem like something I wrote years ago, when in reality this poem is only two weeks old. I wanted to convey how I was feeling about home at the time, while also painting an accurate picture of what life in the South is like. I hope someone besides my mom thinks I may have accomplished these goals.
Disclaimer four: I am not leaving New York.







The South

The air hangs thick, the silence thicker,
And above dewed grass that's slick like molasses,
The darkness is a welcomed relief.

No buildings, no lights, no human graffiti,
Just stars, stars, stars,
And still, still, still-
I can actually feel my heartbeat slow.

When life demands a pause,
This place can deliver,
A twangy release from the push, from the go,
Like a rocking chair swaying in time.

Not just a place - it's a way of existing,
A real way of life, honest, strong and fulfilling,
The South just keeps calling me, "Come."

I'm reminded of youth, of driving and kissing;
My heart lurches backward, and stings in the present,
Because I desperately miss what before went unnoticed.

The smell of the wet,
That dew on the grass,
How impossibly, quietly, the wind stirs the trees -
But mostly I miss what no one can see:
The Southern life unexamined,
Worth living, and more,
Worth exulting and
Worthy of me.

Disclaimer five: I took that photo from the window of a plane from Birmingham to Memphis. On that flight, I saw the entire sunset from above the clouds and the South and all the rest of America. It was stunning, and more appropriately poetic than I could ever hope to recreate.

10 comments:

  1. Those clouds are gorgeous as well as the sunset.. I see u mention grass in this piece.. The comparison to molasses is different and I can imagine how thick the grass must be... Your love of the south certainly comes thru... Well done...I can tell u still yearn for it.. what childhood memories u have...

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  2. Thanks for sharing your work. Only those of us raised in the South understand that feeling. I think one of your introductory sentences is magical: "I was depressed and pining away for something that turned out to be living in my own heart". Profound indeed.

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  3. Good job, leave out the disclaimers next time though (although you said there wouldn't be a next time ha!), it kinda takes away from the poem and dominates the post.

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  4. After an insane travel day from hell this past July, I saw a very similiar sunset once I finally got in the air. It was breathtaking & I didn't want it to end. It made me realize that yes, life is chaotic & uncontrollable most of the time but some of the greatest things will get thrown your way when you least expect it. And all you can do is just stop, breathe & enjoy what's in front of you.

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  5. I have really enjoyed your blog, I stumbled on it just before Christmas and added you to my blogroll on my website. I hope it sends more readers your way.
    Cheers,
    C

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  6. It's very nice work, and I agree with Richard that no apologia is necessary. Believe in it!

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  7. The grass is always greener on the other side of the Mason-Dixon.

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  8. Hi! My name is Maliha, and I randomly came across your blog today! Actually the first entry I read of yours was the one about the 5 things you hated (loved) about nyc....I was so thankful I read it b/c I moved to NYC from a small town near Pittsburgh,PA 6 months ago b/c I got married (my hubby works in the city) and it has been SO INCREDIBLY hard adjusting :( Im a pharmacist and Ive been having the worst luck finding a good job too...which sucks b/c I love doing what I do...but your blog gave me hope and I really appreciate it :) Thanks again for writing about your experience (very well-written too!) Take care and I hope I come to love NYC as much as you do too

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