Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lost & Found


Autumn strips the branches bare
old men losing all their hair
exposing what we lost up there
things that flew too far, too high.

A rubber ball, a broken kite
snared by forking limbs and height
fading slowly, ashen white
bones of days that passed us by.

Winter keeps us looking down -
whipping rain and muddy brown -
that we might not look up and frown
at things that flew too far, too high.

We’re certain there’s too much to do
too many days that will ensue
to pine for silly things that flew -
flew like sparrows through the sky.

Spring begins, with every leaf
to shroud the spoils of the thief
and hide the objects of our grief
until we can’t imagine why

we used to miss the things we lost,
things we or the wind had tossed,
up to where the boughs are crossed
caught like dreams that went awry

Summer in its fullness comes
bearing peaches, figs and plums
to call us out with cricket hums
and maybe, someday in July

we’ll laugh beneath a canopy
the dappled shade of some great tree
forgetting, playing happily
things can fly too far, too high




12 comments:

Julie said...

Oh, yes. Like Icarus, those dreams can get burned. Then we make new ones, which is the beauty.

Your poems always give me so much to think about, Joaquin. I love that. I also love the details, like the kite caught in the tree branches. That entire stanza is amazing. "Ashen white bones of days that passed us by." Powerful words.

It's cool that all the italicized lines could create a poem by themselves.

The touch of optimism in the end is beautiful. It's not too much...not too little. Just the right amount.

I've been reading a bunch of "life sucks and then you die" poems today, and yours is a refreshing contrast. I love that you use "maybe" someday in July. I live my life on maybe and hope. It keeps me flying.

Your poem is beautiful.

signed...bkm said...

you capture a years worth of sentiments in this piece...fun and wonderful read....bkm

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

I thought the same thing that Julie thought - the italicized lines make a fantastic poem within a poem. Outstanding ability!

This poem just comes along like a gust of autumn wind and takes me along in its flight, as it soars high in the imagination!

Love "bones of days that passed us by" I wish I had written that!

Favorite stanza:
"Spring begins, with every leaf
to shroud the spoils of the thief
and hide the objects of our grief
until we can’t imagine why..."

"...to shroud the spoils of the thief" - now that is just ARTFUL!

This is written so adeptly - it glides. There is great substance too, something weighty in those words...

Terresa said...

Are you serious? How did you just do that?? You used rhyme (which I alternately love & loathe) and did it so well (very), with such a deft hand, I am awestruck.

This poem is brilliant in every way.

Nevine said...

I love how you took every season and gave it its worth, Joaquin. So many poems about autumn/fall, these days. But this one is different, because it is like a cycle of birth/death/rebirth. I found it interesting that you ended with summer. In a way, summer is the end of the cycle... the end of the "life", and the promise of a new beginning. And the fact that it rhymed made it all the more beautiful.

You never disappoint, Joaquin.

Nevine

Karen said...

As I was reading, I started copying lines to paste into my comments as "best loved" or "most artful", and then I realized that I was highlighting the whole poem!

Now I'm going to tell you something that is probably really odd: this reminds me of To His Coy Mistress. Perhaps it is the element of time's passing; maybe it's that the winged chariot and the things that flew too high are both airborne. Maybe it's the very skillful structure. I'm really not sure, but believe me, I find this as well written a verse on time's passing as Marvell's much acclaimed work.

Now, I am going to tell you a few of the lines I admired most:


Winter keeps us looking down -
whipping rain and muddy brown -
that we might not look up and frown
at things that flew too far, too high.

We’re certain there’s too much to do
too many days that will ensue
to pine for silly things that flew -
flew like sparrows through the sky.

Spring begins, with every leaf
to shroud the spoils of the thief
and hide the objects of our grief
until we can’t imagine why

we used to miss the things we lost...

There's more, of course. That lines about bones of days is outstanding. The repetition of flew too high is outstanding. The whole thing is --- Marvellous!!

swatinair said...

I love how you end with a hopeful note that maybe we can still get some of what we miss, back into our lives.

"We’re certain there’s too much to do
too many days that will ensue
to pine for silly things that flew -
flew like sparrows through the sky."

Reminded me of that oft-quoted clichéd but true line: Life is what we miss when we think about what it is/used to be.

Sarah Hina said...

There are so many perfect details in this poem, it seems a shame to dissect it. But I just so happen to have my scalpel ready. So. :)

I'm not even sure you intended this, but in the fourth stanza? The repetition of the "too"s, and then the "flew"s. It made the lines hop, then fly on the tongue. You gave them wings. I love that one.

The structure is just brilliantly inspired, with the cycling seasons and transitions. You pack so much time and living into so few lines, that by the time I reached the end, I could feel how the closing circle might occlude the lost object and birth hope in its place. All those distractions, the purposeful avoidance, so that the fallowness might become seeded once again, and dreams maybe, someday can ripen anew. And of course that kind of intoxicated amnesia would happen in summer, when the world is begging to be eaten.

This is everything everyone else has already said, and then some. I have too many favorites of yours...but what's one more? :) Just achingly, ridiculously good.

Dave King said...

A very impressive blog. Thanks for visiting mine, it's enabled me to find yours. The poems are both technically and conceptually strong.

joaquin carvel said...

julie - glad i could balance out some of those "life sucks" poems - and give you things to think about. my favorite poems are more seed than harvest, so that's a high compliment. thank you. and i love "I live my life on maybe and hope" - words to aspire to!

bkm - thank you! glad you dropped in.

k.- i liked how the italic lines were coming together, but i wasn't 100% sure - glad to know it worked. and "like a gust of autumn wind" - who could ask for more than that? thank you - have i mentioned reently how wonderful it is to have you back? :)

terresa - thank you. i think a lot of people - more than may admit it - "alternately love & loathe" rhyme. seems it either works out really well or falls flat on its face - not a lot of middle ground. happy to know this one worked out. :)

nevine - your comments never disappoint, either. thank you. thanks for mentioning ending with summer, too - it is the end of the cycle, in a way. and in a way, the fullest realization of it. part of the beauty of cycles, i guess.

karen - wow. i just went and re-read "to his coy mistress", and - wow. i'm a little dumbstruck, because i don't believe you'd say that if you didn't mean it. thank you - that is an astounding compliment. (not to mention "Marvellous", which is just icing on the cake!)

swati - i like you perspective on it - and that's a good point - things don't usually get clichéd unless there's some truth in them. thank you!

sarah - another wow - thank you. "intoxicated amnesia...when the world is begging to be eaten" is putting it better than i did, i think. (one can't have too many favorites, can one?)

dave - much appreciated. thank you!

RachelW said...

I love it! The first stanza, most of all.

Jingle said...

awesome poem,