Thursday, February 19, 2009

Letter to Rae

Navigating
seventeen,
precarious
and byzantine,
discovering
what people mean
behind the veil of choice;

if you worry
what they’ll say
they’re less than friends
and if someday
you turn to find
they’ve gone away,
that’s how you’ll find your voice.

The tire swing
is full of rain,
the moon rose like
a whooping crane,
between the waxing
and the wane
we drink the purest light;

the brink is sudden,
sharp and steep -
summon courage
just to leap -
you’re nothing
gravity can keep,
that’s how you will take flight.

And when those bright eyes
cloud and leak,
spilling tears
all down your cheek,
don’t think it small,
unwise or weak
to reach for me in doubt;

if ecstasy
should ebb to ache
and love roar like
your worst mistake,
lift up your heart
and let it break -
that’s how your songs get out.

12 comments:

Brosreview said...

Wow!!! That's some good words you've penned down mate.

Moanerplicity said...

You make it sound so magical, with ebbs and flows, yes... but so filled with such glorious possibility. & it is & it was. If only the seventeen year-old kid who just yesterday jumped from the window of the Dalton School to his death had read these words, perhaps he'd still have a reason to dream.

If poetry can save lives...I feel your words can.


One.

Lin

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin!

This startles me with its amazing exactness of language. I applaud your ability to articulate life, with affecting clarity!

This poem leaps off the screen and grabs my heart. It is strong and tender at the same time, exemplifying an important relationship. Excellent poetry!

lift up your heart
and let it break -
that’s how your songs get out.

Truly powerful ending!

Karen said...

Joaquin - Your ability to articulate what a seventeen year old needs to know is exceptional. You are gifted with tremendous empathy for others, and you also have a wisdom that I suspect is beyond your years.

Reading your poetry is a treat that I savor. This is one I want to read again and again.

I love these lines:

"between the waxing
and the wane
we drink the purest light"

-- what a lovely way to look at this age!

Baloo North said...

Well. Know I now the first thing my eldest daughter is going to be reading over her angst filled cereal this morning. Am printing this out now. Thanks!

Baloo North said...

re: my 'Know I now'

Sorry 'bout that - was the discovery of the poem that got the better of me!

-confessional- said...

always enjoy your work, more every thursday.

book - blog - what's the difference?

www.down1030.blogspot.com

(i know you've read a lot of these works, but having them in one place is nice, even if they are out of order - thanks for the encouragement to do it)

hope you enjoy.

down.10.30 said...

regarding down1030 per confessional:

actually, don't check it out yet - i'm going to redo it and take the time to put them in the right order instead of all scatter-brained.

sorry about that. i'll let you know when i get it right, probably won't be long...

down.10.30 said...

all set.

down1030.blogspot.com

Jannie Funster said...

Do you have a melody for this? I hear it as a song.

A very beautiful one.

Faith said...

I love this poem.

Julie said...

This is beautiful, as always. And very wise. Actually, this poem should be framed and given to every kid in the world. Even as adults, we sometimes need to be reminded of this lesson. I love "if someday/you turn to find/they've gone away,/that's how you'll find your voice. So true!!

The poem also has so many wonderful images, like the tire swing full of rain and the moon rising like a whooping crane. Beautiful!