Writing and Music by John Kirnan

There Are Wonders – a sample poem

Posted by John Kirnan on June 16th, 2011

This is a sample poem from “The Hard Won Hush.” It was written for an evening that celebrated the life of a writer who had just died. Two other poems, “What Hasn't Been Heard” and “Little Vera,” were also created for that night. I didn't know Vera or her work. A few weeks before the reading, I saw some photographs of her, a letter about her, and a few of her things. From the letter, I used a story about an incident on a train to create “What Hasn't Been Heard,” and “Little Vera” was part of a much larger group poem that everyone contributed to, but I also wanted to say something about her being a poet. This piece was written as if I'm talking directly to her, but I could be talking to any poet really, and that's how I felt when I wrote it. Thank-you Vera, and all who walk this path, for your attempts at sharing the wonders that you've seen.


There Are Wonders  (for Vera)

I do not know
Your words
Whether or not
Your rhythm and rhyme
Made the kindling catch
Made the dead wood breathe
Of the lost green dream
Till the heartwood
Growing wildfire
Of past made present
Burned away the blackness
With a rumbling thunder
Of magic, time, and mystery
A certainty, a memory
You had not lived
But somehow knew.

I do not know
If your free verse freed you
To dance out from your eyes
To whirl around the gravestone’s laugh
With carefree grace
And care filled love
Of life itself.

I do not know
How easily
Your phrases found the page.
Did the effort
Leave you tongue tied
Blind as normal
Out of touch
With no apparent scent to trail
Deaf to the moment's whisper?

I do not know these things.
It doesn’t matter.
I know you
Not the you of fact or fiction
Though clues intrigue
And tell their tales
Not the you of face and form
Though portraits of a passing life
Open small windows and beckon.
It is the you of me I know
The common ground within
The path we laid before us
The choice made long ago.

A voice said
“Blood sister
Child of the moon.
There will be pain
Your spells can't heal.
There will be longing
For the other world.
And haunted by the need to see
You will grow tangled
Tattered, wild
But never old.”
And you said
Always yes
Through all of the nights
And tumbledown days
That threatened to swallow
Your innocence whole
Yes to the sorrows
They deal from that deck
For the sensitive feel
The darkness too.
Open to white
Is open to black
But wonders await.
And there are wonders
My sister
You knew that
As all word witches do
Miraculous flashes
Of insight and joy
Diamonds to drip
From your ink-filled wand.
When puzzles appeared
You had to pursue
And when your
Passionate, compassionate
Translation was done
You knew why you wept
You knew who you were.

To see a tree
And know the truth
To write the sky
And be there
To capture for others
The heart of God
In a child’s trusting eyes
These are why
You wrote
Those loving words.
These are why
This power
Is given.

One Comment to There Are Wonders – a sample poem

  1. Sharon says:

    Beautiful,powerful! Thank you John!

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