Monday, August 24, 2009


(though you have written poems for me)
I have been thinking for a few days now
my child, I have never written a poem for you,
but-my God! what worlds beyond words
I want to say to you!
How does one say such knowing
without stirring old fears
sprung from the deep
and disguised
in angry colored cloaks and dark cowls?
Awesome shapes towering over innocence
only two feet high, and crowned with sungold.

How can I convey to you some wisdom
for dealing with a world of fierce faces
and bony hands...the fat bellies which mock
and laugh when you are hungry? Mechanical
monsters which in their shiny surfaces
reflect back to you...only surfaces...

Wwhat consummate thievery!
There are monstrous and vacuous and false Merlins
who simply deconjure the human soul...
We are left to endure phantom pains and empty noise.

Then, there is the other world, which can be,
can be, only if we can learn to be, or bear to be,
Merlins ourselves and create forms which truly sing.
So how can you--slender little one--
balance on the fine line between,
allow the dual play, and still grow
with verve and grace and understanding?
Dare I believe that some new Merlin
works a final magic with love's alchemy,
transmuting base offerings, and...moment
by moment...fills the inward coffer?
For this you must find your own teacher,
and how then dare I help you choose?
(my heart suspends its beating here and listens)

--Barbara Smith Stoff

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