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.


  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...

  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.

  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.

  4. I like the poem. Nice work.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

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

  9. 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