Friday, December 12, 2014

Poem for the Weekend: Ron Rash


My Favorite Reads of 2014 post yesterday included a special three-book section on a new favorite author, Ron Rash, and today, I'm sharing a poem by this same talent. Maybe I'm becoming a groupie; you be the judge. Biographical insight on Mr. Rash here. And for a very special treat, watch the poet read this poem and others at this site. Really, you'll enjoy his wonderful accent, which brings a new flavor to these words.

by Ron Rash

As though shedding an old skin,
Fall Creek slips free from fall’s weight,
clots of leaves blackening snags,
back of pool where years ago
local lore claims clothes were shed
by a man and woman wed
less than a month, who let hoe
and plow handle slip from hands,
left rows half done, crossed dark waves
of bottomland to lie on
a bed of ferns, make a child,
and all the while the woman
stretching both arms behind her
over the bank, hands swaying
wrist-deep in current — perhaps
some old wives’ tale, water’s pulse
pulsing what seed might be sown,
or just her need to let go
the world awhile, let the creek
wash away every burden
her life had carried so far,
open a room for this new
becoming as her body
flowed around her man like water.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka