Poem in Progress: April 6, 2016

Number 6

Meditation on Time

Our lives must live forward,
it is said, as though walking
step by step

toward a mirage.
Footprints of sand behind.
Thirst in the mouth.

What is concocted
in the blackened kitchens of history
we all must eat.

And yet, each of us
takes a different portion,
a set of tastes.

The past interpenetrates
the now, as if thin sheets
of sedimentary rock—

that geological clock
of our planet—were
arched and shuffled

anew for us each,
dealing us different hands,
elements we must deal

with, then finally discard.
What is cooked up
in the blinding kitchens of history

we must all digest.
Death is the fast we abhor
and, at last, long for.

Trident time: blue morpho,
both wings beating
against a field of blue sky.

Leslie Schultz

Yesterday was icy and rainy here, and I spent most of it reading non-fiction: Love, Amy: Letters of Amy Clampitt, edited by Willard Spiegelman and American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus. Both works grapple, each in its own way, with how the past–always imperfectly remembered or reconstructed–informs but cannot completely predict the unfolding of the here and now.

Yesterday, I also wrote this lighted-hearted poem just after my yoga practice.

A Holey Prayer Rug

It’s when I wonder where I’m at
That I unfurl my yoga mat.

Although it’s tattered like a tarp, it
Has become my magic carpet.

On it I fly that sense of doom
That seeks me daily in my room;

No matter muscles—ached and pained—
My inner poise can be regained.

No matter where my thoughts have flown
I chant, become one perfect tone.

Leslie Schultz

Until Tomorrow!


4 thoughts on “Poem in Progress: April 6, 2016

  1. Hi Ted,

    Thank you! I am considering a few candidates for the GRSF/Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest for 2016! And heartfelt congratulations to last year’s winners for their dazzling accomplishments!

    All best, Leslie

  2. Leslie – I always enjoy your offerings – as has been said, keep on keepin on, AND,
    in particular, I loved your light verse of today. Also, recall that our GRSF/Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest is now open, and we’re looking for your 14-line offering! Best, Ted

  3. Hello Judy!
    Thank you for you comments on the poems. I am truly glad that they have appealed to you.

    And I am glad to hear about how you crossed paths with Julia around recorder playing. Thanks to teaching all these years by Kate Stuart, Julia absolutely loves the recorder. I believe she is seek out opportunities to continue playing in Northfield during the summer and during her upcoming Carleton years! I hope you and she will be able to play together, perhaps! (Then I might be able to hear you both!)


  4. You are such a gifted writer and poet, Leslie! Your last two postings of poems were very meaningful and beautifully crafted.

    Also, I met your daughter at an Early Music Day event recently and was pleased that she plays the recorder; I hope that she will continue enjoying the recorder family of instruments as she moves into the Carleton environment? I am in a quartet including the College’s recorder teacher, meeting weekly throughout the academic year, and a very talented sophomore recorder player joins us for quintets, when we rehearse in Northfield. I also play in a recorder orchestra headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, and a few Univ of Indiana students play in this larger ensemble. I don’t meet many interested players in Northfield, but my teacher, Clea Galhano in St. Paul is an incredibly gifted player and teacher. I’m mentioning this simply because I forgot to pass on to you earlier my meeting with your daughter and, hope that she has a continuing passion for early music, as well?

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